Get Ready for Arriving Farmworkers | Vaccine Guidance

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Working in partnership with NC State Extension, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is implementing the COVID-19 Farmworker Vaccination Plan to get as many farmworkers vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Local teams made up of staff from farmworker health clinics, local health departments, community health workers and Extension county centers will reach out to farmworkers, farm labor contractors and farmers to help with getting access to vaccines and COVID-19 education and support. If they haven’t already, someone from the local team will contact you soon.

The Importance of Early Vaccination [Download PDF handout]

Dr. Gayle Thomas, UNC physician and medical director for the N.C. Farmworker Health Program at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, offers important recommendations to farmers preparing to receive farmworkers.

  • The best vaccine is the one available right now.
  • The best time to vaccinate is as soon as possible, in order to prevent outbreaks, hospitalizations and deaths.
  • Delaying access to the vaccine, including waiting until all your workers have arrived, increases the risk for COVID-19 infection and outbreaks, which could lead to shutting down operations.
  • It takes two weeks after the final vaccine to achieve immunity (two weeks after one Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two weeks after the second Moderna or Pfizer vaccines).
  • It remains important to continue to encourage the 3 Ws (Wait, Wear and Wash), even after workers have been vaccinated.

Share these resources with your workers to help them make informed decisions about their health:

Contacts You Can Count On

  • Reach out to your local N.C. Cooperative Extension center if you need COVID-19 prevention and vaccine education resources, to connect with vaccine providers or have questions or concerns.
  • Contact the N.C. Agromedicine Institute for general questions about COVID-19 information, sanitation supplies and equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), transportation, isolation and quarantine housing and internet connectivity for migrant housing. Call 252-744-1008 or email agromedicine@ecu.edu.

COVID-19 Prevention and Vaccination Resources in Languages other than Spanish

Some of the farmworkers coming from Mexico and Central America speak an Indigenous language as their primary language, and Spanish is their second language. It’s important to provide resources in a person’s preferred language.

Attorney General’s Advisory Letter Regarding Migrants’ Right to Receive Health Care Visitors

In 2020, the Attorney General released a letter regarding the ability of health care professionals and staff to enter an employer’s premises to provide medical care to workers. In short, the statement is: “When healthcare professionals and public health staff enter a worker’s residence on an employer’s premises, they do not commit trespass so long as they have the worker’s consent. An employer may not bar the entry of health care professionals and staff in these circumstances.”

Download all of this information as a PDF handout.