Expert Pitch

Failing to vaccinate farmworkers exploits, endangers labor force

Cornell University
2-Mar-2021 3:05 PM EST, by Cornell University

Despite CDC recommendations that farmworkers should be one of the first groups selected for COVID-19 vaccinations, some of the top farming states have not prioritized agricultural workers.

The following Cornell University experts are available to discuss the importance of vaccinating farmworkers not only to help ensure the stability of the U.S. food supply, but also to protect the immigrant work force that is at high risk for COVID-19.

Beth Lyon is a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School who focuses on domestic and international migrant and farmworker rights. She is also the founder of the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic.

Lyon says:

“Even as California is prioritizing vaccine delivery to farmworkers, the state of New York continues to contravene CDC guidelines and exclude farmworkers from priority group 1b. 

“California has showed the rest of the country that it is possible to prioritize vaccine delivery to farmworkers – this policy makes sense not only for obvious public health reasons, but because the weight of America’s racist history of farm labor exploitation demands it.

“History shows that if we fail to vaccinate farmworkers, we are following a well-worn policy path of exploiting, endangering and vilifying the communities that provide hired farm labor.

“Recruiting low-income workers to come to this country to serve as farmworkers at the bottom of our food supply chain, and then shutting them out of a life-saving vaccine because they are immigrants, lays bare the racism at the heart of our low-wage immigration system. 

“New York state is excluding farmworkers from phase 1b, contravening CDC rollout recommendations and exacerbating an ongoing public health disaster in farm country, particularly in enclosed work environments like dairy.

“Some of the public leaders who are ignoring CDC guidelines and refusing vaccines to farmworkers are openly playing to xenophobia, and others are simply perpetuating the political powerlessness of a workforce comprised largely of undocumented and employer-tied visa workers.”


Mary Jo Dudley is the director of the Cornell Farmworker Program and a faculty member of the Department of Global Development. Dudley is an expert in farmworker issues and has been working with agriculture workers from New York and other top farming states throughout the pandemic to help maximize worker safety and protect vulnerable immigrant populations.

- 30 -

Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5636
Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

How to Win Over Vaccine Skeptics: Live Expert Panel for May 20, 3pm ET

Released: 13-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT
Dental procedures during pandemic are no riskier than a drink of water
Ohio State University

A new study’s findings dispel the misconception that patients and providers are at high risk of catching COVID-19 at the dentist’s office.

Newswise:Video Embedded lung-damage-not-the-culprit-for-post-covid-exercise-limitations
Released: 13-May-2021 7:00 AM EDT
Lung Damage Not the Culprit for Post-COVID Exercise Limitations
American Physiological Society (APS)

A new study suggests the lungs may not be the main factor that reduce exercise ability in people recovering from severe COVID-19. Anemia and muscle dysfunction also play a role. The study is published ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It was chosen as an APSselect article for May.

Showing results

110 of 5636