BUFFALO, N.Y. — There's a new effort to ensure workers at New York State farms and food production facilities receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the state will coordinate with local health departments and health centers to have pop-up vaccination sites for workers at their place of employment.
"As we continue to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine and establish more pop-up sites to reach New Yorkers in underserved communities, it's critical that we bring the vaccine to every part of the state, not just those with high populations. That's why we're making sure food production workers and farm workers in rural areas, including migrant workers, get vaccinated for COVID-19," Governor Cuomo said. "This new effort to bring the vaccine directly to farmers and food production workers at their places of employment is an important step forward to reaching a population that lives in more remote parts of the state. COVID remains a threat to all of us, but we have the weapon that will win the war—we just need to make sure it's available to everyone who is eligible across New York."
Sun River Health Chief Executive Officer Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, said, "We are thrilled to support Governor Cuomo in providing access to the COVID-19 vaccines for New York State's agricultural workers. These individuals grow and harvest the food on our tables. The vast majority of New York's essential food production goes on year-round, and much of this work is done indoors. Working with growers and our community partners to overcome the barriers to vaccine access for this vital part of our community is a big step forward in bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic."
New York Farm Bureau State Director Chris Kelder said, "Farm workers are essential to the success of agriculture and to feeding millions of New York's consumers, from St. Lawrence County to Manhattan. It is critical that workers have ongoing access to COVID-19 vaccines to ensure their health and safety as they do their work. Access to vaccines has been the leading priority of New York Farm Bureau and farmers from across the state. We appreciate Governor Cuomo highlighting the importance of this issue and we appreciate Sun River Health, and health care professionals across New York, for their efforts to vaccinate farmworkers."
The governor's office says the effort to vaccinate those that work on farms and in food production facilities helps build the state's effort to combat food insecurity during the pandemic.