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Agricultural Workers Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Authors: Natalie Hoidal and Annie Klodd, Extension Educators 

Agricultural workers have become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. While food processing plant workers will be prioritized (Tier 2) above other agricultural workers (Tier 3), farmers are now eligible to sign up.

How do I sign up? 

Agricultural workers (or anyone else) in Tier 3 are eligible to receive the vaccine, and should register on the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector website. Once you’ve signed up, you will be notified of available appointments in your area when they become available. 

Local public health officials in each county receive vaccines and determine how to allocate them. Individuals in Tier 2 will be prioritized for vaccines, but in the event of a surplus or an unclaimed appointment, individuals in Tier 3 will be notified. 

Other websites like and have emerged in recent weeks. They show pharmacies and other vaccine sites with available vaccines. We asked representatives at the Minnesota Department of Health about these sites, and received the following response:

"The Minnesota Department of Health has a Vaccine Locator map on its website.  This tool is intended to help Minnesotans more easily find and connect with local vaccine providers in their area. There is still a limited amount of vaccine, so appointments may not be available everywhere.  Minnesotans can also sign up on the Vaccine Connector. Whether you are eligible for a vaccine now or later – the Vaccine Connector will notify you when you it’s your turn for a shot. In addition, the CDC has launched a VaccineFinder that individuals can locate providers in their area offering COVID-19 vaccines. The Department doesn’t have knowledge about the validity of other vaccine location websites."

Do I need to bring proof that I’m an agricultural worker?

Some sites do require proof of eligibility, which could include: 

  • Drivers license / ID (for age-based eligibility)

  • Medical providers note (for medical condition based eligibility)

  • Work badge

  • Paystub


    You may consider contacting your site prior to your appointment and inquire about what documentation to bring. Some sites may also call you for your insurance information after you sign up but before your appointment (for example, the Walmart pharmacy in Alexandria is doing this). 

How do I schedule my second shot? 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two shots to become fully vaccinated. Different pharmacies and vaccination sites handle registration for your second vaccine a bit differently - in some cases you will be prompted to register for two appointments when you register for your first shot. In other cases, you will schedule your second shot on-site while receiving the first. 

Do we still need to practice social distancing and mask wearing on the farm if we’re all vaccinated?

The CDC released new guidance this week for fully vaccinated individuals, saying that as long as all parties are vaccinated, people may gather indoors without wearing masks. However, they also advise people to continue to take precautions including mask wearing and social distancing in public, and when gathering with individuals who are not vaccinated, or individuals with elevated risk of contracting serious illness. 


Please read the statement below from Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Peterson, dated March 9, 2021:

Governor Tim Walz announced today that Minnesota is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include a segment of Minnesota’s food and agriculture sector. Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10, vaccine eligibility will expand to the next two phases which will include food processing plant workers (Phase 1b Tier 2) and other essential agriculture workers including employees in food production and food retail (Phase 1b Tier 3).


The Governor’s announcement comes several weeks ahead of schedule after the state moved quickly to use more vaccine from the federal government.


Food and agriculture workers have been essential throughout the pandemic, keeping food on our tables, and I commend Governor Walz for prioritizing food processing, food production, retail food employees, and farmers in this next vaccination phase. I encourage these critical workers to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.


More than 1.8 million Minnesotans are now eligible to receive the vaccine beginning this week:


Phase 1b Tier 2 populations, including:

  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF)

  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers

  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness

Phase 1b Tier 3 populations, including:

  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC

  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions*

  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing

  • Essential frontline workers: agricultural (farmers), food production, food retail, food service as well as other sectors including airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers


All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability.


For more information, please submit questions to


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