May 23, 2024

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Agriculture teams urge COVID-19 vaccination prioritization for farm, food workers : Augusta Totally free Push

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As COVID-19 vaccines are staying distributed to necessary healthcare personnel and extensive-phrase care facility residents, agriculture teams are requesting that frontline food and farm personnel be prioritized subsequent.

The Centers for Sickness Control and Avoidance Advisory Committee on Immunization Procedures agrees. On Dec. 20, it suggested approximately 49 million frontline employees be prioritized in the subsequent phase of vaccinations, like meals and agricultural laborers and grocery shop staff.

Vaccine distribution is orchestrated on the point out stage. Gov. Ralph Northam declared Jan. 6 that the Virginia Division of Health is envisioned to get started vaccinating Period 1b frontline employees, like foods and farm workers, by the close of January.

“We commend the CDC for recognizing America’s meals and agricultural workers as vital personnel who are crucial to preserving a functioning modern society,” mentioned Ben Rowe, nationwide affairs coordinator for Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “We inspire VDH to place these personnel at the top rated of the prioritization queue beneath Period 1b, and work to assure they are provided enough, truthful and uncomplicated entry to vaccinations.

“Rural Virginians have extended struggled with accessibility to overall health care and wellness equity. Now is a essential minute for the commonwealth to make sure the vaccine is distributed to all spots of the state, so when you get the vaccine is dependent on no matter if you are discovered as high-danger, fairly than where by you are living and get the job done.”

letter to President-elect Biden’s transition workforce, signed by American Farm Bureau Federation and other businesses in an agriculture coalition group, requested vaccine prioritization. The letter was submitted by the Ag CEO Council of the National Affiliation of Condition Departments of Agriculture, a nonpartisan, nonprofit association symbolizing elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of agricultural businesses in all 50 states.

“We absolutely appreciate and help that our nation’s heroic to start with responders, clinical pros, elderly and caretakers, along with other susceptible persons, plainly have the highest priority for vaccination,” the letter said. “However, as you go beyond these maximum priority groups, the undersigned corporations request that frontline food and agriculture workers be included in the up coming-maximum precedence for the vaccine inside any federal COVID-19 Vaccination Programs.”

The letter explained the agricultural labor pressure continues to fluctuate as workers deal with restrictions, possibility exposure and are influenced by quarantines. With unfilled positions, confined current workforce and processing facility closures, “this circumstance could pretty simply produce disruptions and shortages in the food source chain.”