HURON, Calif. (KGPE) – COVID-19 vaccination rates have slowed down in the Central Valley, and elected officials are especially concerned about rural communities where many farmworkers live.
On Tuesday, Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula hosted a resource fair and COVID-19/Flu vaccination clinic.
“It’s important that we get out into the rural areas of Fresno County to make sure we’re meeting people where they’re at,” the 31st District representative said.
A few residents were getting their first COVID vaccination dose, like Lucio Ramirez. The Huron farmworker shared it was important for him to take care of his health, but he confessed he’d been hesitant about the vaccine for a while. After seeing continuing coverage of death toll numbers on the news, he said he finally decided to protect himself against the virus. In California, more than 70,000 people have died of COVID to date.
“Please get your shot, because it’s not just good for you, it’s good for your family, it’s good for all of us because nobody wants to bear the pain of losing a loved one,” said Huron Mayor, Rey Leon.
“COVID does kill people,” said Kathleen Rindahl, Associate Professor at Fresno State’s School of Nursing.
She said fewer people are coming in for a covid shot. In some cases, because of ongoing misinformation about the side effects. That’s what happened at another clinic.
“One person went and told other people that if you have diabetes and you get the vaccine, you’re gonna have a bad reaction, don’t get it. Fifty people canceled their appointment. I’m a type 1 diabetic, I got the vaccine —I’m fine,” she said, adding that doses continue going to waste.
“Moderna has increased the vial to 14 doses from 10. So if we puncture one vial, it’s only good for, you know, 12 hours. When we were in Firebaugh, we only gave two doses, so the rest of them wasted.”
At Tuesday’s clinic, nurses were aiming for giving out at least one vial worth of Moderna doses. They had more success with flu shot patients.
“Every fall we get high demand for flu vaccines and we give out about 700-800 every fall,” said Rindahl.
Assemblymember Arambula is hosting his next resource fair and vaccination clinic on November 9th at the Fresno Center.
Huron residents can also access free rapid Covid-19 tests on Wednesday, October 20 at the John Palacios Community Center located on 12856 4th St. The clinic will take place from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. No appointments are necessary, and rapid test results are available in 15 minutes.