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Ag industry wants farmworkers prioritized for vaccinations

FILE - In this June 16, 2020, file photo, orchard worker Francisco Hernandez reaches to pull...
FILE - In this June 16, 2020, file photo, orchard worker Francisco Hernandez reaches to pull honey crisp apples off a tree during a thinning of the trees at an orchard in Yakima, Wash. The agriculture industry is asking Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to move migrant farmworkers and food factory workers closer to the front of the line for the coronavirus vaccine because they perform work that cannot be delayed or performed remotely.(Elaine Thompson | AP)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:54 AM MST
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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The agriculture industry says in a letter it wants Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee to move farmworkers and food factory workers closer to the front of the line for coronavirus vaccines because they perform work that cannot be delayed or done remotely.

An Inslee spokesman said Friday the letter was being reviewed but nationwide shortages of vaccine might complicate matters.

Washington state is a major producer of apples, wheat and other crops. It also has a large food-processing sector that converts those crops into products.

The letter says much of the work is tied to production cycles, which begin in March and cannot be delayed while workers wait for vaccines.

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