The CDC has updated its vaccination distribution guidelines, recommending that states prioritize hotel workers for vaccination by classifying "Travel Accommodation" employees under Phase 1c of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Categories of Essential Workers.
Since December, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has been pushing U.S. policymakers to categorize hotel employees as frontline essential workers, which would put them further toward the front of the line for vaccination eligibility.
The trade group has been focused in highlighting the role hotels and hotel workers have played in taking care of first responders, medical professionals and those under quarantine throughout the pandemic.
Although the AHLA has lobbied for states to prioritize hotel employees under Phase 1b, alongside workers in food and agriculture, manufacturing, grocery stores and education, the organization called the CDC's update "a significant achievement."
"Our industry is playing a vital role in supporting our communities as we battle this public health crisis," the AHLA said in a statement. "While hotels have protocols in place to ensure limited contact between employees and guests, prioritizing employees with access to the vaccine would provide another layer of protection."
Although the CDC puts out recommendations on which categories of individuals should receive the vaccine first, states can make their own decisions on who to include in which phase of eligibility.