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Farmworker advocacy group prepares vaccinations and information for arrival of seasonal workers

Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michigan farms during the harvest.
Craig Camp
flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michgan farms during the harvest

Each year, Michigan becomes a temporary home to tens of thousands of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and Lupita Perales with the United Farmworkers Foundation says some of them have been arriving with unfounded fears about the COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s tough to know what kind of information those workers have gotten before their arrival in Michigan, so she’s working on distributing flyers and holding Facebook live sessions to disseminate the facts.

“I don’t know what information has been going on in Georgia, Texas or Florida,” she says. “But I’m just making accurate information available.”

Perales says people’s feelings about the vaccines are not set in stone.

“If we provide information in Spanish to farmworkers in the language they can understand, it is very beneficial, and it does change their perspective.”

She says encouraging the workers to get vaccinated is important, because they often have to live in crowded conditions that can accelerate the virus’s spread.

Local health departments say people who have gotten a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine out-of-state can get their second dose in Michigan, and the federal Department of Homeland Security says it will not conduct immigration enforcement operations at or near vaccination sites.

Brett joined Michigan Public in December 2021 as an editor.
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