Health experts from California have conducted a new study, which reveals which profession has the most risk of death for workers in the state due to the COVID19 pandemic. The new study has shown that cooks are majorly affected by the pandemic. Experts have said that people working in this specific job should be prioritized for vaccination. The author of the study, Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, who is the vice dean of Population Health and Health Equity at the University of California San Francisco, has said that after chefs and cooks, people who work on packaging machines are at a higher risk of catching the virus. He has said that agricultural workers, bakers, construction site laborers, and factory hands and shipping clerks as well are among the most affected people amid the pandemic. Experts have said people who are working in such fields where the option of working from home is not available or have very few paid leaves are highly affected by the pandemic. The study has thoroughly examined the death certificate of people who have lost their lives due to the disease. However, the findings of the study have not been peer-reviewed yet. As the outbreak in the state continues to rage, the study has found that essential workers are high-risk laborers.
The new study has revealed that workers from the agriculture and food industry have a combined mortality rate of 39 percent. Workers from the transportation, logistics, and shipping industries have seen a 28 percent surge in deaths. Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo has said that the government has done nothing concrete to protect essential workers in the state other than the lip service even after seeing such occupations coming on the top list as being at the most risk of the virus and associated death. Experts who have been involved in the study have claimed that divided by demographics, Latino food and agriculture workers are at a 59 percent higher risk of surplus mortality. While Asian health workers are at a 40 percent increased risk of death caused by the virus. Experts have said that in-person essential workplaces are the venue for the rapid spread of the virus and it must be addressed by enforcing strict health orders. The authors of the study have said that prioritizing essential workers for vaccination might reduce the excess mortality among these workers.
The state has been struggling with surging cases of COVID19 and its vaccine rollout plan. The state government has announced that their latest goal will be to vaccinate at least 40 million people with two doses of the vaccine. Health care workers and residents of long-term facilities have been the first ones to receive the vaccine on priority. Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom has included people who are 65 years and above in the vaccination plan. He has said that people who are in the high-risk groups due to their age, underlying conditions, and occupation will be next to receive the vaccine. Experts have noted that the exact timing for when the vaccine will be made available to essential workers and those who are in the high-risk category depends on each county’s vaccine rollout plan and supply of doses.