Fresno County health officials still focused on vaccinating farmworkers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Farmworkers in Fresno County are already starting to get their doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and health officials are working to get more vaccinated.

They've kicked off their food and agriculture initiative in hopes of getting the vaccine to the most vulnerable.

"We're testing models to see how to get vaccines to our food and ag population," says Fresno County Health Division Manager Joe Prado. "We have a big effort with Foster Farms next week and plan to vaccinate 1,000 individuals."

Prado, who's leading Fresno County's vaccination efforts, says they received about 8,000 vaccines this week.

RELATED: Farmworkers in West Fresno County receive COVID-19 vaccine

They've put in a request for 30,000 more to meet the demand, after having to pause vaccinations because of limited supply.

On Tuesday, the state also announced it was revamping its vaccine roll-out process.

Health officials say it would turn to an age-based eligibility process after frontline workers are vaccinated.

RELATED: Central California COVID-19 vaccines: How to make an appointment, latest information by county

"It has been a local response with federal and state needs," Prado said. "I think that's the most efficient way. I think that's going to be imperative, how we're going to hit the rural area."
County health officials are still working to contact senior residents, as many older patients say they have yet to be able to get an appointment.

Meanwhile, as California starts to loosen restrictions, Dr. Rais Vohra says residents need to remember hospitals are still impacted.

"This is a precarious moment, not a time to let our guard down," he said. "There's going to be more mixing and that could lead to an increase."

So far, California has administered 2.4 million vaccines out of the 4.5 doses shipped here.

The state has also launched a new website called My Turn.

RELATED: California to switch to age-based COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

People in certain pilot counties can use it to book vaccine appointments, but all California residents can now register to be alerted when they're eligible for the shot.
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