Fresno County COVID vaccinations going on the road

'You have to have access. Without access, there's no point, right?'
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County community organizations are starting to take their COVID vaccinations on the road.

From the vial to the syringe to a patient's arm - that's the short trip for the Pfizer vaccines at a new UCSF Fresno Mobile HeaL vaccination site.

People over the age of 65 and community health workers like Imani Purvis got in line.

"It wasn't bad," Purvis said. "It was actually really quick."

Purvis said she feels a lot more secure knowing antibodies will build up in her body over the next few weeks.

"It's really important," she said. "For me personally, I'm constantly around my grandparents and they're helping me out with watching my child, so getting the vaccine helps me keep them safe."

The mobile vaccination effort led by Dr. Kenny Banh is a critical piece of Fresno County's outreach.

"We want to start getting people protected and we'll be here and giving every opportunity to get access," said Dr. Banh. "Because number one: You have to have access. Without access, there's no point, right?"

The idea is to expand the vaccination effort to underserved communities that Mobile HeaL already serves with testing sites, like the one they bring to the Mary Ella Brown Community Center every Thursday.

On this Thursday, Imani Purvis helped the mobile unit conduct COVID tests just a few hours after getting her vaccination.

She said there's some distrust of the medical system and the vaccine in the African American community, so it's important to set an example like she did, and like Earl Brown did.

"I think that we're becoming more aware of it's better to have the shot than not have the shots," said Brown. "And I think people that see us getting shots are going to be much more comfortable if there was any reservation."

For now, the stationary Mobile HeaL site across from Fashion Fair Mall is the only vaccination location and they'll set up appointments.

But Dr. Banh says the mobile sites, including at the Poverello House and the FIRM location in central Fresno, will be first come first served, and they'll ramp up as soon as they have a supply of vaccines, possibly as soon as next week.
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