Thousands of COVID-19 vaccines for farmworkers headed to Central Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More vaccines are headed to the Central Valley in an effort to get them in the arms of the most vulnerable.

On Monday, Governor Newsom announced the state is allocating 34,000 doses to vaccinate food and farmworkers through 11 mobile sites across the Valley.

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In addition to those doses, Newsom said the Central Valley will also be getting a nearly 60% increase in doses thanks to a new allocation formula.

It's welcome news just days after Fresno County finished its first vaccine trial for farmworkers.

County officials say they've set aside an additional 7,500 doses for essential agriculture workers, and expect more vaccine doses from the state this week.

The Fresno County Farm Bureau says time is of the essence as they work to get essential workers vaccinated before the busy season.

"There's probably going to be a combination of on-the-farm events for some farms... We're going to be working with rural clinics to make sure they can work with farm employees," said Fresno County Farm Bureau CEO Ryan Jacobsen.

United Farm Workers said agriculture workers face challenges with online applications and transportation, and the mobile locations need to make getting the vaccines easily accessible.

Newsom said the 34,000 doses will become available through Optumserve mobile clinics by Friday.
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