Vaccination Update for Agriculture Workers

The Almond Alliance continues to work with our membership on the accessing vaccines for our essential workforce and responding to questions about COVID 19 vaccinations. While the roll out has been confusing we have seen great progress in the administration of vaccination to the agriculture essential workforce.  Please call us if you have any challenges with your County vaccination distribution process. 

The California Department of Public Health has an online vaccine data tracker that reports the total vaccinations administered in the State and within each County. To view the State vaccine data tracker, Click Here.

To view your County COVID 19 website and Vaccination plan, Click Here.

The state’s goal is to scale up to 4 million immunizations per week by the end of April.

Phase 1B for Essential Agriculture and Food Workers are now Being Vaccinated – Make sure your company is communicating with your County Health Officer.

Recommendations from the Almond Alliance in preparation for food and agriculture vaccinations:

  1. .Know you County Health Officer and Ag Commissioner (we can provide contact information and introduction). We are strengthening those relationships for our industry and are happy to share what we know. It will be critically important to familiarize yourself with your county’s vaccination plan and you should expect it to evolve as we move through initial phases of vaccine roll-out, e.g. the recent move-up in priority of those 65 and older.  It is likely there will be multiple vaccination pathways for you and your staff including worksites (mentioned above), community vaccination sites (e.g. schools, churches or fairgrounds), community clinics, pharmacies and healthcare providers.
  2. Offer your site and a location to administer the vaccination if it makes sense.
  3. Provide your workforce educational materials about the vaccination.

Make sure your workers understand what information they will need to receive the vaccination. No officials’ instructions have been provided, but we recommend the following:

  • Staff should be prepared to show one or more of the following four pieces of identification to prove they are food and agriculture workers:​​​​​​​
    • Employee badge with photo, OR
    • Professional license AND a photo ID, OR
    • Signed letter from employer on facility letterhead AND a photo ID, OR
    • Payment stub from employer with your name AND a photo ID.

Authorized and Recommended Vaccines

As COVID-19 vaccines are authorized and then recommended for use in the United States, it will be important to understand what is known about each vaccine. The CDC provides information on who is and is not recommended to receive each vaccine and what to expect after vaccination, as well as ingredients, safety, and effectiveness. This can be found on their website, Click Here.

Currently, three vaccines that are authorized and being distributed. 

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccines in Phase 3 Clinical Trials

Large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for two COVID-19 vaccines in the United States:

  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
  • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine

Can you require your employees take the COVID 19 Vaccination?

The short answer: Yes. An employer can make a vaccination a requirement. But there are significant exceptions for potential concerns related to any disability or for religious beliefs that prohibit vaccinations. And experts say that employers are more likely to simply encourage their workers to get immunized rather that issue a company-wide mandate.  

The potential medical and religious accommodations are just two of the factors employers will have to consider when deciding whether to put a vaccination requirement in place. Experts say that given all the different concerns employers will need to balance with a potential COVID-19 vaccine, many might choose to simply recommend their workers get immunized rather than make vaccination a condition of employment.  A mandate that all their employees get inoculated could complicate the risks for companies. .  For more details, please see Stacey Henderson’s article on employee vaccinations she provides great insight on this issue, Click Here.

The Almond Alliance recommends that you provide your workforce educational materials about the vaccination now, so they are prepared to receive the vaccination. The Almond Alliance has handouts and videos in Spanish and English on our website.  Also, make sure your workers understand what information they will need to receive the vaccination. Each County has different instructions on what is required.  So, make the call to your County Health Office and know in advance.  If you need assistance, contact us, we are happy to provide you the help needed to get your team safely vaccinated.