Ag/Food Processor Vaccines Update, February 24, 2021

Posted in Blog on February 24, 2021

 

Ag/Food Processor Vaccines Update, February 24, 2021
Amanda Cooper, Director of Strategic Intitiatives

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is opening up eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to food processing and agriculture workers starting March 1, 2021. Local jurisdictions are awaiting further guidance from the state on the sub-prioritization of these essential workers because of the limited vaccine supply. Priority will be given where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred and/or to workers who are at increased risk for severe illness. At this time, these workers do not include grocery store workers or people who work in restaurants.
 
Registering for the Vaccine
 
  • Employers: The Allegan and Ottawa County Health Departments have been working closely with Lakeshore Advantage and employers to develop vaccine distribution plans to ensure essential workers receive the vaccine when it is available. Businesses that employ essential workers should fill out the Employer Vaccination Intake Form so the counties knows who to contact to coordinate with the employer to determine based on vaccine supply the best way to get employees vaccinated.
  • Individuals 65+ and eligible essential workers should register with their local county health department at VaccinateWestMI.com website HERE.
Michigan COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Prioritization Guidance

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/MI_COVID-19_Vaccination_Prioritization_Guidance_2152021_716344_7.pdf

By March 1, 2021, all areas of the state may, as vaccine supplies are available, also implement vaccination of people who are frontline essential workers in the food processing and agricultural industries.
If further sub-prioritization is needed of frontline essential workers due to limited vaccine supply, local health departments may consider prioritizing workers in locations of their jurisdiction where high rates of transmission and/or outbreaks have occurred and/or workers who are at increased risk for severe illness based on age or underlying medical conditions.
 
What is the list essential workers considered part of the food processing and agricultural industries?
 
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98810-552512--,00.html
These workers do not include grocery store workers or people who work in restaurants.
 
What makes these food processing and agriculture workers a higher priority?
https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98810-552511--,00.html
Efforts to keep the food supply chain moving impacts not only Michigan but the rest of the country. As we approach the spring and summer of 2021, efforts to ensure a healthy workforce are crucial to food supply chain.
These groups have been connected with outbreaks at meat packing plants, dairies, greenhouses, and farms.  In the spring and summer of 2020, there were large ongoing outbreaks that can spread between locations and to the communities where these workers live. There was documented spread from work to group housing or apartment complexes. 
 
County-Specific Health Department Updates:
  • Ottawa County: Currently, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health is administering COVID-19 vaccines to first responders, people aged 65 and older, and education staff. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and to sign up to receive a notification when the vaccine may be available to you, visit www.miottawa.org/covid19 and click on the red button Vaccine Notification Sign Up. 
  • Allegan County: Individuals living or working in Allegan County who want the vaccine should go to www.allegancounty.org/covid  and click on “I want the COVID-19 vaccine” to fill out the online form (also available in other languages).