WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hispanic advocates are continuing to push for better accessibility to vaccinate immigrant farmworkers, especially those older than 65. One activist found success through one retail pharmacy but said more needs to be done.
Lis-Marie Alvarado is the director of the American Friends Service Committee in Florida. The organization helps protect the rights of the undocumented community. Alvarado said she was able to register undocumented elders in her family and in the community through CVS’s website and got the vaccine with no problem.
“The process was very easy, to sign people up online,” said Alvarado. “Also, when you go get the vaccine, you are not required to take an I.D. because all the registration was already done beforehand.”
Alvarado is among several other advocacy organizations around the state that sent a letter to the governor’s office urging to prioritize vaccination among migrant farmworkers. In the letter it states, in Palm Beach County alone, the Guatemalan Mayan Center consistently saw a 30% infection rate among the 600 farmworkers and families they would regularly test on a Saturday night. Additionally, stating that farmworkers are central to Florida’s second-largest industry, agriculture and the widespread use of the vaccine will help revive the economy to where it was pre-COVID.
Read the letter below
“Let go of any ideology and look at this issue for what it is. It’s a health crisis that we’re living in, and we have to make sure that the vaccine is available for everyone regardless of documentation, or age, to make sure everyone is protected,” said Alvarado. “ If not prioritized for a COVID vaccine? Our economy is going to suffer.”
Alvarado hopes her experience will help undocumented immigrants who may fear of getting a vaccine because of the lack of proper documentation. All in efforts to prevent the spread of the virus.