H-2A Farm Workers Have High COVID Vaccine Rate
Despite the negative reports you hear about low vaccination rates in rural communities, the seasonal foreign farmworkers on H-2A visas are NOT who they’re talking about.
Washington Farm Labor Association CEO Dan Fazio says they’ve been working to minimize the impact of COVID since last year and their vaccination rate shows it.
“Medical Teams International does the vaccinations along with all of the local health jurisdictions and all of the farmworker clinics. They’re all reporting the same thing, 95 percent plus.”
Fazio says they’ve been up front with potential workers.
“What we do with the H-2A workers is, when we’re recruiting them in Mexico, we make sure that they know that the expectation is that they’re going to be tested as soon as they get there. And then, if they test negative, then they’re going to be vaccinated and if they’re not okay with that, this is not a job that they should be applying for.”
It’s a system, Fazio says that’s worked.
“Again, it just demonstrates the advantage of the H-2A program, you know, a well-regulated program where workers have a visa and they’re anxious to comply with all the rules.”
Fazio says it’s been a win-win for workers and for health safety.
“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.