As delta variant spreads rapidly, push for vaccinations continue in the Valley

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Valley health officials and community leaders continue to push to get more Central Valley residents vaccinated as the delta variant gains traction throughout California. 

“For those who are not yet vaccinated, you need to be aware this is the one that’s going to get you in the hospital, and I’m pretty sure about that because that’s exactly what it’s doing around the country and around the world,” Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said during Friday’s health presser.

Fresno County’s vaccination rates lead the Central Valley, but they’re much lower than other parts of the state like the Bay Area and San Diego. 

According to Fresno County’s latest data, 45% of the county’s total population is vaccinated with at least one dose.

Vohra said 21 cases of the delta variant have been identified in the county but he expects that number to be higher given that not all samples are sequenced. 

Fresno County’s case rate remains low, but the rise in cases in Los Angeles and other parts of the U.S is highlighting the concern over the impact the delta variant could have on the unvaccinated population in the Central Valley. 

“If they’re seeing an uptick in LA, then certainly we will likely follow in the same course in the weeks to come,” Vohra said.

Community leaders hope mobile vaccination events can make a difference. Cultiva La Salud in partnership with the Fresno County Department of Public Health held a vaccination clinic at Sanger High School with music and free food. 

“We’re trying to offer it and make it closer to home,” said Francisco Juárez Jr. with Cultiva La Salud. “The numbers in the population for our Latino community has been very low.”

About 41% of vaccinations in Fresno County have been administered to Latinos, per county data. But Latinos make up 54% of the county’s population. 

Yesenia Cortez took her teenage daughter to get the vaccine at Sanger High School on Friday. Cortez had already gotten her vaccine months before. 

“It’s important because with the news of these new variants. And because I have two other younger kids, to protect them and ourselves,” Cortez said. 

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