1,000 Foster Farms employees receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine: ‘It’s been a hard year’

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LIVINGSTON, California (KGPE) – Tuesday was a day of relief for employees at the Foster Farms facility in Livingston. 1,000 workers were given the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, through a partnership with SaveMart and the Merced County Department of Public Health.

Last year, Foster Farms lost eight employees to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was affected by the pandemic…really bad. It’s been a hard year,” said Hilda Paz, who’s been an employee at Foster Farms for 31 years.

“I can sense the relief and certainly hear it in their voices,” said Assemblyman Adam Gray.

Gray says it’s been a long time coming for these employees to receive the vaccine and it’s a step in the right direction for Merced County, which has one of the lowest allocation rates in the state.

“Merced County, where we’re sitting today here in Livingston, California, has gotten the third-lowest vaccine per capita in the state of California. Meanwhile, I think we’ve had the fifth or sixth highest rate of fatality here,” he said.

Gray says the county saw a 25-30% increase in vaccine allocation this week – and he will continue to fight for that number to grow.

“Too many hiccups, too much red tape, too many hurdles… I’ve expressed that to the governor. We just need to make sure that each week we get more vaccines, and those vaccines go out into the community,” he said.

Employees at Foster Farms will receive their second dose in three weeks.

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