Six hundred agriculture workers vaccinated at half-day clinic
–More than 600 San Luis Obispo County agriculture workers got vaccinated against COVID-19 at a special half-day clinic in Arroyo Grande on Friday, March 19.
The event, hosted in collaboration with partners in the SLO County Farm Worker Outreach Task Force, is the first of several planned at the county’s mass vaccination clinics in Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande.
“I am thrilled that together we can provide vaccine to so many of our local agriculture workers,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “Events like this are key to ensuring equitable and efficient access to vaccines, and I am grateful to the partners working tirelessly with us to ensure farmworkers get the critical protection this vaccine provides.”
Across California, agriculture workers and their families have faced increased risk from COVID-19. For this clinic, agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and community partners helped register workers in groups. Multilingual volunteers from the Promotores Collaborative, Herencia Indígena, and Dignity Health provided on-site interpretation and health education.
“It’s so important for our farmworkers, especially in our Latino and Indigenous communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, to get updated health information and services like the vaccine from trusted messengers in an environment that is welcoming and safe,” said Director of the Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia.
Prior to the event, health educators visited work sites to share vaccine information. This builds on the ongoing work of SLO County’s Farm Worker Outreach Task Force, convened by the county in collaboration with agriculture and health care partners, to provide COVID-19 prevention information throughout the pandemic. Workers in the food and agriculture sector can also get the vaccine at the county’s regular vaccine clinics or from community providers like pharmacies.“This is a proud day for our Farm Bureau and agriculture community. I don’t think we’ve ever been a part of something more important than getting this vaccine to our essential agricultural workers,” said Brent Burchett, Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau. “We never stopped farming during this pandemic. So many times over this past year we’ve heard ‘thank you farmworkers,’ but today I think we truly showed our gratitude for their work.”
For information on the COVID-19 vaccine in SLO County, visit www.RecoverSLO.org/vaccine or call the county’s phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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