FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Several COVID-19 vaccine clinics this weekend will be offering incentives to try to ramp up vaccination rates in Fresno County.
The low demand for the vaccine has continued in the county for the last couple of weeks. This weekend’s clinics are part of the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s effort and change in strategy to meet people where they’re at and provide an incentive.
At Chukchansi Park on Friday and Saturday, UCSF Fresno will be administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to those who want it and have tickets to the Grizzlies games. And with the vaccine, attendees will also get a free meal.
“Anybody who gets their vaccine here will get a hot dog, a bag of chips, a soda, and a Grizzlies hat as well,” said Jason Hannold, the vice president of sales with the Fresno Grizzlies. “This is one of those things where we have fans coming to the games and we just want to give them an opportunity to come and get their vaccine when they’re at the ballpark.”
Dr. Kenny Banh, the director of the UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL COVID-19 Equity Project, said they’re doing more mobile events in order to meet people where they’re at.
“Because as businesses and events start opening back up, we want to make sure that we’re going to places where people are already gathering,” Banh said.
At Centro La Familia in Fresno on Saturday, $50 gift cards will be given to the first 75 people who register for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The clinic is in partnership with the Fresno County Department of Public Health.
“We will also be giving out hot food, a burrito, and also we will be raffling prizes such as a TV, a bike for a boy and a girl, and some Tide detergent,” said Diana Vargas with Centro La Familia.
Vargas said there will be medical professionals there to answer questions people may have in English and other languages.
Those interested can walk in, but if they want their spot to be reserved for the $50 gift card, they can sign up by emailing email@example.com or by calling 559-369-6382.
Vargas said they’re able to offer the incentives thanks to a Kaiser grant they received.
“Because of that we’re able to offer food, incentives for people to come,” Vargas said.
Another clinic is taking place at Roeding Park by the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
The clinics at Centro La Familia and at Chukchansi Park are some of the first where incentives are being offered.
“We’re trying to see. Is that what people really want? Is that what they need?” Vargas said.
With new strategies, the hope is to get more of the community protected and have more people in the stands at Grizzlies games.
“If we can provide the opportunity for our community to get the vaccine while attending games, we need to continue to do that,” Hannold said.