They've been deemed essential from the start of this pandemic. And now some farmworkers believe they should be next in line for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Hernan Hernandez the Executive Director of the Farmworker Foundation, says their job is essential and that they should be treated as such when it comes to the vaccine distributions. However, according to Public Health they still have a ways to go before this will occur.
Kern County is currently in phase 1A of the tier system for the vaccine distribution process, which includes EMT’s, paramedics, and more.
But before farmworkers will qualify for their turn, they have two other phases in front of them. This will include, but is not limited to, those in the pharmacy and dental industry, along with laboratory workers.
Farm workers will qualify for vaccines during phase 1B, which includes a variety of frontline essential workers. However, Hernandez says, just like healthcare workers and first responders, farmworkers should be at the forefront of the vaccine distribution. Hernandez says, “these are individuals that are putting food on your table and if it wasn't for them and their sacrifices on a day to day basis, then guess what – our food chain would be completely cut off. And just imagine if we cut the food chain during a pandemic. It’ll be chaos it'll be terrible.”
For a full list of the tier systems and who qualifies: