FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – With some Fresno neighborhoods experiencing high rates of vaccine hesitancy, local health officials are pulling out all the stops to get more people protected against COVID-19.
The Fresno County Health Department and UCSF held the first Vaccines In the Park event as part of its Vaxtravaganza, offering several incentives to encourage more people to get their shot.
Health department officials are targeting zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates, especially with new concerns around the more contagious Delta Variant.
Shots into the arms, that was the goal of health officials at the Vaxtravaganza event at Holmes Neighborhood Center as people lined up to get protected against COVID-19.
“It was pretty good actually… I was surprised I didn’t get scared or anything,” said Persiah Mendez of Fresno.
Helen Mendez took her granddaughter Persian to get her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I am proud of her because a lot of our family won’t get it because they don’t believe in it but it is real it is out there so it is to make everyone safe,” said Helen.
According to the Fresno County Health Department, less than 50% of residents have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In zip code 93721, where the pop-up vaccination clinic was held, the vaccination rate is below 30%.
“These people are hesitant. They haven’t done much research on the vaccine or haven’t had the opportunity to do research on the vaccine. So, we are partnering with these organizations to help,” said Leticia Berber with the Fresno County Health Department.
For Eileen Gonzalez, it wasn’t the free food, Subway gift cards, or food that motivated her to get the vaccine. It was the accessibility.
“Some people it’s hard to get to, some people have a car some people don’t. It’s kinda hard for me to get around but it’s right here, so I was taking a walk, so I said, ‘ah huh,’” said Gonzalez.
There will be 6 more Vaxtravaganza events around Fresno until July 31st.
All are free and paid for through the Federal Cares Funding.
You can find the full list of events here.