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'It's Terrifying': Grocery Store Workers Push To Be Moved Up COVID Vaccine Priority List

BOSTON (CBS) - Grocery store workers are now pushing to be moved up the vaccination priority list in Massachusetts. They say they've been on the front lines since the pandemic began and they need protection.

In the rush to get vaccinations, it has been somewhat of a bumpy ride, and the list of who gets priority keeps evolving. Frontline workers, first responders, teachers, and now essential workers.

"I want to know why you call me essential but you don't treat us as essential. You put us on the back burner," said Cheryl Ferullo, who is a leader of the union representing 8,000 grocery workers at Stop and Shop.

Grocery store workers are still in Group 3, of Phase 2 and some wonder just how much more essential is food and those who provide it. "The grocery store workers, they are allowing us to eat," said State Rep. Carmine Gentile of Sudbury. "The most vital thing we have, they are allowing us to eat and we haven't taken care of them."

Epidemiologists say the store workers are definitely more exposed to COVID than many of us.

"People who are not able to stay home and Zoom for work are all at higher risk, especially if they are in jobs that have them interacting with the general public," said Dr. Shira Doron of Tufts Medical Center.

Gov. Charlie Baker will release the schedule for all remaining groups in the state's vaccine plan on Wednesday.

"It's terrifying," Ferullo said. "You don't know who is carrying COVID and who is not."

Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible, book an appointment or preregister.

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