TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available for at-risk populations in Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partnered in a bilingual vaccine education campaign to encourage COVID-19 vaccination among Florida’s farmworkers and agriculture community.
According to Commissioner Fried's Office, a recent study found that food and agricultural workers are among those most at risk of death from COVID-19, facing a 39 percent increase in excess mortality during the pandemic, the highest of all sectors studied – including a 59 percent increase for Hispanic/Latino food and agriculture workers. Farmworkers are also more susceptible to respiratory diseases like COVID-19 and frequently lack health coverage.
“Florida’s farmworkers are critical to a safe, healthy domestic food supply upon which 150 million Americans rely to feed their families,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “That’s why we’re encouraging Florida’s farmworkers and agriculture community to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to them. Getting the vaccine will not only help farmworkers stay safe, but their communities as well. I thank UF/IFAS, Centro Campesino, and others for helping spread the word about these life-saving vaccines to some of our most susceptible essential workers.”
Commissioner Fried has advocated that the Governor include farmworkers and agriculture personnel in the critical infrastructure category of the vaccine rollout’s next phase.