Madera County focusing on rural outreach to get more people vaccinated

Outreach is key to increasing the number of people getting vaccinated, especially in the Valley's rural areas.
CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Supplies are available in the Valley but fewer people are showing up to get shots to protect them from COVID-19.

Instead of waiting for more people to come in to get vaccinated, Madera County is now focusing its efforts on heading out to rural communities to make sure access doesn't pose a major problem.

A walk-in clinic was held at the Chowchilla fairgrounds on Thursday. Some people still need to be convinced they should come.

Madera County is concentrating on getting out into the hard-to-reach areas to address any concerns people may have.

Traditional messaging like ads can easily miss their targeted market so the county is also relying on community-based organizations to help spread the word.

"We're at the point where we are not necessarily relying on people coming to us but we have to go to them a lot more so we're going to the agricultural employers, we're going to the schools," says Madera County Point of Distribution Manager Paul Durrell.

Durrell says more vaccines and more COVID-19 testing is needed if Madera County is to move from the red tier to the orange tier.

Ray Sardina says it's a simple process so people should just get it done but he too needed a nudge.

"My wife made me come out here - and my family," Sardina says.

Many people don't like to get shots but some say the vaccine doesn't hurt at all.

Almost a third of the 160,000 residents in Madera County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Public health officials look to increase that number.
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