¿QPM? S6 Ep. 4 What recovering after COVID-19 looks like for Latino Farm Workers in the Midwest
En este episodio Dana Cronin and Christine Herman talk to a group of farmworkers about getting the vaccine. A solo tres días de haber llegado desde Oaxaca, México Sergio Chavez recibió la vacuna. He’s been coming to the United States for years to work in the farms and says this pandemic affected farmworkers greatly. He says he didn’t expect the vaccine to go as smoothly as it did.
Purdue University estimates that more than 480,000 agricultural workers have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide and at least 9,000 have died from it. This figure likely underestimates the number greatly since it excludes contracted and temporary labor.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, o CDC por sus siglas en Espanol, says farmworkers are at risk because farmworkers often have close contact to one another both in the fields and indoors like shared housing, cooking and eating areas, bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
The farming industry depends largely on migrant workers, according to the Department of Agriculture. The USDA says the number of worker visas, or H-2A, requested and approved has increased fivefold, from just over 48,000 positions certified in 2005 to nearly 258,000 in 2019.
There are 2.4 million farmworkers in the U.S. — at least half of whom are undocumented, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and all of whom should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, according to the CDC. The CDC also recommends that vaccinations for farmworkers be offered near their worksites or in their communities.
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