Vaccination Pilot Underway for Farm Workers in Santa Cruz County

February 04, 2021
workforce development
workplace safety
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This week, 1,000 farm workers in Santa Cruz County are receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in two events at a pilot offsite clinic through the coordination of Dignity Health Dominican Hospital, the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, and California Strawberry Commission.

The appointments for this week's pilot are full. To join the waiting list for future events in Santa Cruz County, please email the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau at vaccinesfarmbureau@currently.com and include:

  1. Name of company.
  2. Number of employees currently on payroll that are required to work on site in order to fulfill their responsibilities.
  3. Contact information for designated person within your company that will receive follow-up.

The goal of the pilot is to create vaccine ambassadors across as many agricultural employers as possible. The local Farm Bureau conducted random selection from all known agricultural employers and then asked each selected employers to identify a couple of critical, essential, on-site employees who were interested is receive a COVID-19 vaccine and share their experience with their colleagues and new hires expected to begin in March.

We do not yet know when the next allocation of vaccines will be made available to farm workers. Each county receives a different allocation, that also changes from week to week. Additionally, each county is implementing CDPH guidelines differently. For example, while Santa Cruz County approved this week's agriculture ambassadors clinic; Monterey County's Public Health Department is limiting vaccine distribution to those over 75 years old and Phase 1A.

We are in communication with all Central Coast counties and encouraging them to allocate at least some vaccines for farm workers. We are also in communication with Western Growers and United Ag Benefits Trust health insurance programs to seek allocations directly from the state.

With the shifting changes in information regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, community partnerships play a crucial role to ensure equitable distribution of vaccine doses for the local workforce, helping to keep workers healthy and maintain critical functions in the community. We are hopeful that the state will support the allocation of vaccines to essential workers.

We hope that this week's events in Santa Cruz County will inspire other counties in the growing areas to host similar events. The COVID-19 immunization availability can vary from county, or among the various health providers and pharmacies. The best way to keep on top of local conditions is to check your local county's COVID-19 vaccine website or contact your health care provider.

Santa Cruz County:

Monterey County:

San Luis Obispo County:

Santa Barbara County:

Ventura County:

Orange County:

San Diego County:

State Vaccine Information:

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