More than 15 million New Yorkers are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but agriculture and food processing employees are still not on the list.

Originally, these employees were included in Phase 1B, but on January 10, they were removed from this grouping due to limited supply of the vaccine at the time.

Alex Walsh with the Northeast Dairy Foods Association says it is crucial to get agriculture and food processing employees vaccinated as soon as possible.

“Agriculture and food processing employees are essential workers, and have been on the frontlines for the entirety of the pandemic,” Walsh said. “With the availability of the third vaccine and supply increasing, it is critical that these working groups be deemed eligible for the vaccine in order to ensure the continuation of a safe and efficient food supply chain. It has been aggravating to see agriculture and food processing employees repeatedly dismissed when expanding the eligibility list to more populations. It is past the time that New York needs to protect those who work every single day to make sure there is food available.”

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded vaccine eligibility to include New Yorkers 50 years and older, public-facing employees, and other employees deemed “essential.”

Almost 3 million New Yorkers have now been fully vaccinated, and more than 8 million New Yorkers have received at least one shot.

Cuomo admitted at a press conference on Wednesday that getting shots in arms has been a “massive undertaking.”

“April, May, June will be the focus,” Cuomo said during a press conference on Wednesday. “We will be vaccination, vaccination, vaccination. The government side is operational and organizational. The citizen side is, you have to come get it. We have to talk our way through this distrust. But that’s what April, May, June are going to be about.”