The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has voiced support for media workers to be included in the priority groups in the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
In a statement on Monday, the IFJ said it “supports the petition of its affiliates in Brazil, Peru and Uruguay for media workers to be considered as essential workers and their inclusion in the priority groups in the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns."
"From the onset of the pandemic, journalists have overwhelmingly proved the essential role they play in informing their citizens and fighting against disinformation over the Covid-19. Journalists are essential workers that should be treated as such within national COVID-19 vaccination campaigns worldwide,” IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said.
The National Federation of Journalists of Brazil (FENAJ), National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP) and the Central Board of Directors of the Uruguayan Press Association (APU) recently urged their governments to consider journalists as frontline workers.
"The inclusion of journalists among the priority groups is justified by the fact that similarly to other professions, such as health professionals, teachers, police or firefighters, media workers are obliged to put themselves at risk, guaranteeing every citizen access to reliable and public interest information," the FENAJ said.
Noting that 108 journalists have died from COVID-19 in Peru, the ANP expressed concern over the exclusion of media workers from the priority groups that receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
"It is therefore unusual that the high level of vulnerability to which our colleagues are exposed, who provide journalistic coverage from potential hotspots of infection, has not been taken into account," it said.
The APU, for its part, called on the government to consider this during their vaccination plan.
"Providing society with quality information is an essential service. Journalists are daily exposed to the potential contagion of the disease," it added.