Tulare County is still in phase 1A of its vaccine distribution, but the county’s Health and Human Services Department is already working with other organizations on vaccine distribution for farmworkers.
Carrie Monteiro, a spokesperson for the department, says the county wants to be prepared to vaccinate farmworkers when phase 1B starts. That’s why, in collaboration with the Community Care Coalition, it’s asking farm and agriculture employers to respond to a survey.
“We’re looking for if they have any interest in doing a closed distribution site specifically for their employees,” Monteiro said.
The department is also working with the California Farmworker Foundation to see how many farmworkers plan to take the vaccine. Executive Director Hernan Hernadez said at this point, roughly 50% do not want the vaccine or are undecided.
“Why exactly don't they want to take the vaccine?” he said. “It’s fear of side effects and fear of being in a government database.”
The foundation is working to combat those fears with credible information pulled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization on the vaccine, Hernandez said. And for those who do show an interest, the foundation is helping with pre-registration at its testing sites.