Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday a new targeted effort to vaccinate workers at New York State farms and food production facilities starting April 21.
Well, its about time – and my hope is that the other 49 governors will follow Cuomo’s lead. The state will coordinate with local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers to bring pop-up vaccination sites to workers, including migrant workers, at their places of work. New York State will also provide 500 doses to Sun River Health, a local health care network, to administer vaccines to farm and food production workers in the Orange County New York area.
“These individuals grow and harvest the food on our tables,” Sun River Health Chief Executive Officer Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH told NEWS 10. “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.” Rural & Migrant Ministry Catskill Regional Coordinator Juanita Sarmiento added, “I have seen first hand, while translating and helping our local rural and migrant communities with testing and vaccines, the impact of this pandemic. We need to continue to uphold not only the efforts to keep New York healthy but to establish an accessible educational campaign on the importance of the vaccination and testing efforts. I’m glad to see us take these steps forward.” This is a great effort – one frankly that should have begun when the vaccines were first released. Kudos Cuomo – better late than never.