Ventura farmworkers get COVID vaccines; academics are subsequent

Ventura County is now vaccinating farmworkers as a part of a pilot program geared towards the area’s massive agricultural sector.

The transfer precedes the vaccination of extra important employees, who will likely be eligible for inoculations subsequent week. At the moment, county officers mentioned they are going to lengthen entry to occupational teams who’re a part of California’s Section 1B vaccination tier, which along with farm and agricultural employees, consists of academics, child-care suppliers and first responders.

Greater than 100 farmworkers at Good Farms in Oxnard acquired a shot Friday as a part of the pilot program aided by Ventura County’s Farmworker Useful resource Program, which launched in 2019, Supervisor Carmen Ramirez mentioned throughout a public briefing.

Providers are supplied in English and Spanish, along with Indigenous languages equivalent to Mixteco, Zapoteco and Purepecha to make sure accessibility.

Mike Powers, Ventura County’s chief government officer, mentioned the in-person nature of farmworkers’ jobs has saved them on the entrance traces amid the pandemic.

“These courageous farmworkers are important to our group, placing meals on our desk,” Powers mentioned. “They usually’ve continued to work this entire time. They didn’t have the chance to isolate or keep at house; they wanted to proceed to work for us. And so for them, we have to do that undertaking, we have to carry this to them.”

Ventura County has administered 158,225 vaccine doses, together with 112,969 first doses and 45,256 second doses, according to data. That equates to greater than 15% of the native inhabitants, mentioned Rigoberto Vargas, the county’s director of public well being.

Provide stays restricted, nonetheless, like elsewhere across the state and nation, Vargas added. About three,000 appointments had been anticipated to open Monday, he mentioned.

Holding again tears, Ramirez mentioned throughout Friday’s briefing that she had misplaced a brother to COVID-19 and urged farmworkers — and everybody else — to get the vaccine.

“Don’t let it occur to you,” mentioned Ramirez, who represents Oxnard, amongst different Ventura County communities.

There are about 100,000 county residents who will turn into eligible for vaccinations as a part of Section 1B, Vargas mentioned.

“That’s lots of people with nonetheless restricted provide. So it’s … going to take time” to vaccinate everybody within the group, he mentioned.

Like a lot of California, new coronavirus cases have declined in Ventura County. On Friday, there have been a little bit greater than 140 new infections reported. That’s down from a peak of greater than 1,800 on Jan. four, knowledge present.