The issue goes away if we install the vcredist_x64.exe on the server but unfortunately this method does not work with the automated deployment method to our dev server based on copying files and not an installation.
Additionally, the production servers are Windows Azure Web Apps (cores basically) which do not allow for custom installations, etc. at least not in an automated and scalable way.
Our goal is to have a copy method of including this component with our solution.
Check to see if the technique described here solves the problem: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms235291.aspx#Anchor_1