OROSI, Calif. (KGPE) — On Saturday the vaccine rollout for essential workers continued at El Monte Middle School in Orosi. Over 200 Johnson & Johnson vaccines were given mostly to local agricultural workers.
“I think the state has given us the ample opportunity to vaccinate as many people as we can here,” said Eddie Valero who sits on the Tulare County Board of Supervisors.
Valero volunteered at Saturday’s clinic and emphasized the success of expanding vaccine equity through local partners. The clinic in Orosi was a collaborative effort between Tulare County Health and Human Services, Adventist Health, and United Farm Workers.
Tulare has made a strong push to vaccinate its residents recently, with the International Agri-Center opening up eligibility to anyone 16 and up this past Wednesday, more than two weeks before the eligibility expands across the state.
“The county has strategically focused itself on really identifying those isolated populations, and making sure we’re still going to do our due diligence,” Valero said.
Also at the event, the United Farm Workers union provided to-go meals for ag workers who received the vaccine. Lucy Hernandez, a local union organizer says continuing the outreach to the ag worker community for vaccines is crucial.
“Reaching out to the small rural communities because that’s where our essential workers are,” she said. “And we need to make sure that we reach out to them in their own communities.”