Tulare County Latino vaccinations outpace state

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- State data shows Latinos account for 38% of vaccines administered in Tulare County.

That's more than any other race or ethnicity group, including whites, at 34%.

When it comes to gender, far more Tulare County women are getting the shot than men.

Darla Gray got her first dose of the vaccine on Wednesday.

She wants to protect her baby, her family, and the clients she serves through her work as a caregiver.

"For Hispanics specifically, it's like as long as we have the resources, why not do it, you know," Gray said. "I think as long as we're eligible, it's a good idea."

Gray got her shot at the Lindsay Wellness Center, Tulare County's first pop-up vaccination site set up in response to the state's new vaccine equity metric, which sets aside more doses for zip codes that fall into the lowest category of the Healthy Places Index.

Pop-ups will take place in other disadvantaged, heavily Hispanic Tulare County communities in the weeks to come.

"We're going to continue to do this coordination for these communities that fall within this lower HPI quartile that meet this health equity metric that the state is asking of us to do," Tulare County HHSA's Carrie Monteiro said. "Tulare County Public Health is going to fill in the gaps."

Thousands of Tulare County farmworkers have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, including hundreds at an agricultural worksite in Richgrove on Tuesday.

California Farmworker Foundation Executive Director Hernan Hernandez isn't just planning the events.

He's taking down any barriers that stand in the way of fieldworkers getting a shot.

"We want to make sure that farmworkers have access to the vaccines," Hernandez said. "We want to work with the counties, with the private and public sectors to make sure that the vaccine is present in every way possible so we can hopefully get over this COVID-19 pandemic."

Hernandez thanks Tulare County officials for making sure farmworkers got the same access as other groups in Phase 1B.

Months ago, a vaccine task force decided each group should receive 25% of the county's supply.

"We're not going to get every farmworker all at the same time, but we're going to take bites of the apple slowly but surely," Monteiro said. "And the same for education and child care, and the same for age 65 and older and emergency services."

Appointments are booked at the Lindsay Wellness Center for this week.

But appointments for next week are expected to open up soon.

However, new appointments just opened up at the International Agri-Center.

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