County Begins Vaccinating Food and Agriculture Workers

Home Chef food packers work to assemble meal kits at the California branch office in San Bernardino, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019. Home Chef, a leading meal kit delivery company, recently moved into a 200,000-square-foot facility in San Bernardino that the company will use as its West Coast production facility. (Photo by John Valenzuela, Contributing Photographer)

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Having largely completed its efforts to vaccinate those working in the healthcare field and first responders, and making progress inoculating educators, licensed childcare providers, and those age 65 and older, the County will now accept appointments for food and agriculture workers.

“The County’s vaccination program is running smoothly; our main challenge is simply getting enough doses from the State to meet demand,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We’ve devoted special resources to help seniors secure appointments, including establishing a dedicated call-in line and a customized web page, and we’ve successfully vaccinated tens of thousands of our older residents. Now we’re shifting our focus to the individuals who have been on the frontlines since the pandemic began: those helping ensure we all have the food we need.”

Workers in the food and agricultural industries can visit the vaccination section of the County’s COVID-19 website to see about scheduling an appointment. Eligible persons should also remember that County-run vaccination sites are not the only places to receive a vaccine, so they should check with pharmacies, state-run sites and their own doctor about vaccines.

Vaccination appointment guidelines

Those eligible to secure an appointment are reminded to follow a few simple guidelines to help ensure the process continues to run efficiently:

  • Do not show up without an appointment
  • There is no need to arrive more than 15 minutes prior to your appointment
  • Be ready to show photo ID and proof of employment in the food and agriculture industries (such as a paycheck stub)
  • Work with on-site staff to get your vaccination card and to schedule a second-dose appointment
  • Plan to spend at least an hour at your appointment

Food and agriculture industry: eligible worker categories

The food and agriculture industries employ a wide variety of workers, such as those supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, animal services and other retail stores that sell food or beverage products. A partial list of those eligible during this phase include:

  • Workers supporting restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations, including food preparation, carry-out and delivery food employees
  • Food manufacturing employees and their supplier employees, including those employed in food ingredient production and processing
  • Farmers, farm and ranch workers, and agribusiness support services
  • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution and ingredients used in these products, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers, and block chain managers
  • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail
  • Workers supporting the growth and distribution of plants and associated products for home gardens
  • Workers in cafeterias used to feed workers, particularly worker populations sheltered against COVID-19
  • Workers in animal diagnostic and food testing laboratories
  • Government and non-governmental organizations who’s workers who are essential for food assistance programs
  • Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals, medicines (including cannabis), vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry
  • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health, and those raising and processing animals for food
  • Those engaged in transportation supporting animal agricultural industries
  • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution
  • Workers at animal care facilities that provide food, shelter, veterinary and/or routine care and other necessities of life for animals

For considerably more detailed information on food and agriculture workers now eligible to receive a vaccination, please visit the State’s COVID-19 website.

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