February 23, 2021

WGAT, Consortium Advocates for Additional Vaccines for Farm Employees in Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Food and Agriculture Clinic Consortium (the Consortium) recently sent California Government Operations Agency Secretary Yolanda Richardson a letter urging the State to increase its vaccine allocation for farm employees in Santa Barbara County.

According to the letter, the State has estimated that there are less than 9,000 agricultural workers in Santa Barbara County and is using that number for vaccine allocation planning purposes. However, the California Employment Development Division (EDD) has listed peak total farm employment at between 28,000 and 29,000 over the past two years.

Considering these figures, the Consortium calls on the State to “use the current figures from the EDD to reflect an actual Agriculture Sector employment in Santa Barbara County of at least 28,000 to 33,000 individuals—not 8,830.”

In the letter, the Consortium also affirms that local healthcare partners will play an important role in vaccine acceptance and administration among food and agriculture workers in the county and requests “the opportunity for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to continue to receive direct vaccine allocations for Food and Agriculture Workers for distribution to our partners in health.”

Click here to read the full letter.

Western Growers Assurance Trust (WGAT) is a member of the Santa Barbara County Food and Agriculture Clinic Consortium, which was convened to advance the common goal of promoting public health by administering the COVID-19 vaccine to food and agriculture workers.