WASHINGTON – As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed to important healthcare employees and residents of long-term care services, farm teams are calling for frontline meals and farm employees to be prioritized .
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agrees. On December 20, it advisable that roughly 49 million frontline employees be prioritized within the subsequent part of vaccinations, together with agricultural and meals employees and grocery retailer workers.
Vaccine distribution is orchestrated on the state stage. Governor Ralph Northam introduced on January 6 that the Virginia Division of Well being is anticipated to start vaccinating Part 1b frontline employees, together with meals and farm employees, by the top of January.
“We commend the CDC for recognizing America’s meals and agricultural employees as important employees who’re important to preserving a functioning society,” mentioned Ben Rowe, coordinator of nationwide affairs for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. “We encourage VDH to put these employees on the prime of the prioritization queue in Part 1b, and we work to make sure that they’re given broad, truthful and easy accessibility to vaccines.
“Folks in rural Virginia have lengthy struggled with entry to well being care and well being fairness. Now is an important time for ALS to verify the vaccine is distributed to all areas of the state, so if you get the vaccine will rely on whether or not you might be recognized as excessive danger, fairly than the place you reside and work. ” .
A letter to President-elect Biden’s transition group, signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation and different organizations in an agricultural coalition group, known as for vaccine prioritization. The letter was despatched by the Agricultural Govt Council of the Nationwide Affiliation of State Departments of Agriculture, a non-partisan, nonprofit affiliation that represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and administrators of agricultural organizations in all 50 states.
“We totally admire and assist that our nation’s heroic first responders, medical professionals, elders and caregivers, together with different weak individuals, clearly have the very best precedence for vaccination,” the letter mentioned. “Nevertheless, as you progress past these highest precedence teams, the undersigned organizations are asking that frontline meals and agriculture workers be included within the subsequent highest precedence for the vaccine inside any federal vaccination plan. COVID-19 “.
The letter mentioned that the agricultural workforce continues to fluctuate as workers face restrictions, publicity to danger and are affected by quarantines. With job openings, restricted current workers and closures of processing services, “this example may simply create disruptions and shortages within the meals provide chain.”