Food workers, educators in Fresno County now eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – As of Monday, those who work in education, childcare, food, and agriculture are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Joe Prado with the Fresno County Department of Public Health last week said those who are eligible could make appointments at the county’s sites, such as the Fresno Fairgrounds and Sierra Pacific Orthopedics.

For those sites, health officials tell residents to register at myturn.ca.gov.

At another site in Fresno, the UCSF COVID-19 Equity Project is vaccinating those who are eligible and trying to target those who live in underserved communities. No appointments are needed.

“That includes grocery store workers, big-box workers, at Walmart, Target, convenience stores, anywhere that sells groceries, as well as restaurant workers and food service workers,” said Dr. Kenny Banh, the director of UCSF Mobile HeaL COVID-19 Equity Project.

“Our group specifically wants to really target those groups that have lack of access to other options, meaning they can’t get their vaccines from their primary doctors, they may not be insured.”

The state provides a list of those who are eligible under the sectors here.

“We just require proof, some sort of proof of your employment or that you’re in that environment. That could be as simple as a work ID or it could be a pay stub, or if you can’t get those, we’ll take a company letterhead, a letter written by your employer that says that you qualify and that you work in there,” Banh said.

Banh said they’re administering around 200 to 300 doses a day, but they have the capacity to administer 500 a day.

“We’re not at capacity. We’re sitting here at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and we’ve got about 20 people waiting in line. They’ll get vaccinated in under an hour and through, so we can certainly take care of more people,” Banh said.

In Tulare County, Carrie Monteiro with the county’s Health and Human Services Agency said they have started vaccinating food and agriculture workers and those who work in education.

“Not only teachers and administrators, but also bus drivers, cafeteria workers. Anyone in the education front,” Monteiro said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that the Central Valley would be seeing a 58% increase in their allocation.

Monteiro said they’re seeing an increase in their allocation this week and will administer around 10,000 doses this week.

She also said Tulare County has recently launched four OptumServe vaccination sites.

“Those sites will ramp up its operations to vaccinate 6,000 individuals a week,” Monteiro said.

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