Farmers and migrant workers will soon have vaccines delivered to them in Steuben County


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BATH, NY (WETM) – Steuben county is working hard to increase the vaccination rate in the community. Currently, only 32% percent of Steuben County residents received their first dose, dipping way below the state’s average.

To fix this, the county is teaming up with farmer-owners and health care organizations to reach out to the rural community to vaccinate farm and migrant workers.

“We are really excited about getting that off the ground and in place,” Darlene Smith, Steuben County Health Director, said. “It’s spring, so we know that most if not all the workers are here, so it’s important that we get them taken care of and get as many vaccinated that want it.”

Farm-owners can go to either the Finger Lakes Community Health or Oak Orchard Health’s websites and pre-register farm or migrant workers that are interested in getting the vaccine. Then a team will drive to the farm or orchard to vaccinate all who are wanting a dose.

Smith knows that some migrant workers are hesitant to get their dose depending on their immigration status.

“They are concerned about being turned in or ICE or some of the previous immigration policies, so there is definitely some hesitancy,” Smith said. “So I am not expecting to be vaccinating 100 percent of the migrant workers that are here in Steuben county, but I would like to be able to accommodate as many as are willing.”

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