Tulare County sees success at pop-up vaccine clinics

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The reason behind Elisabeth Small's decision to get the COVID-19 vaccine is not unique.

She doesn't want to contract the virus, especially after seeing how it has affected those she loves.

"Yeah, my brother got it," Small said. "So he's been having some lingering effects, and that's sort of made it feel a little more urgent to get it."

Small is one of more than 130,000 Tulare County residents that has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

She got her first dose at the Manuel Hernandez Community Center in Visalia.

The clinic is open to all, but is also part of the county's drive to reach disadvantaged communities that are towards the bottom of the California Healthy Places Index.

To make the vaccine as accessible as possible, the county started accepting walk-ins and shifted hours of operation at clinics.

"So we've really opened up our vaccination clinics, such as this one here today is from noon to seven," Tulare County HHSA's Carrie Monteiro said. "And so we see a lot of influx of individuals coming to get vaccinated during their lunch hours as well as after the 5 o' clock work hour coming to get vaccinated."

County officials say vaccine hesitancy can be a hurdle.

But they want residents to know that getting a shot is safe, effective, and streamlined.

"We want this to be an enjoyable, not a scary experience," Monteiro said. "We have greeters at the door, we have individuals here to make this enjoyable and to ease your angst."

For Small, there was no fear or angst.

For those on the fence, she puts it this way.

"It's so much better to just have like a sore arm and feel the little bit run down for a day than to potentially get COVID," she said.

For more information about a big vaccine and resource fair starting on Sunday, click here.
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