Vaccination Rates Pt 2

Vaccination Rates Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The vaccination rate among seasonal foreign farmworkers with H-2A visas stands at 95% plus, despite the negative press about the pandemic denial in agriculture.

WAFLA CEO, Dan Fazio says they started the year by testing all H-2A workers …

FAZIO … “We set it up and started on January 12th and, in fact, the first 5,000 tests they did, there was like five positives or something very, very low.”

And eventually, Fazio says the Governor granted them a vaccine priority as long as they followed the rules …

FAZIO … “And operators with congregate housing facilities like WAFLA, we require the workers to be tested. So, a farmer rents a bed from WAFLA and we’re going to require that worker be vaccinated in order to stay at our facility.”

And with very few exceptions, Fazio says they’re pleased with the results …

FAZIO … “Yeah, we’re satisfied with the 95%. It’s the people that aren’t vaccinated have demonstrated to us that they have a medical reason or some sincere religious belief and, you know, we give them the exemption.”

Fazio says it’s been a win-win for workers and for health safety …

FAZIO … “The workers are very, very interested in getting these visas and they’re very interested in coming to work here. And, you know, when we compare this system with, you know, unregulated immigration, it just becomes absolutely clear to people that this is the way to go.”

Fazio says the H-2A system is built for situations like this.

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