Farmworkers Get Covid Vaccine from Mobile Units. This program is a first.

Geoffrey Greer

Strawberry fields are forever.

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Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Carlsbad is famous for its strawberry fields, and for good reason: they’re a decade-old landmark that’s visible from Interstate 5. This is where the first fieldworkers in the state received the Covid vaccine.

With the start of spring, California vaccination teams are visiting farms throughout several counties, administering vaccines to field and farmworkers. San Diego County teams have already administered vaccines in fields throughout the area — with plans to reach all workers by the end of March.

A recent study conducted by the University of California San Francisco found that agricultural workers in the state have seen a 59 percent increase in mortality rates since the pandemic began. The study also showed that most field workers, especially undocumented immigrants, are less likely to carry health insurance or have access to medical care and the vaccine.

Farmworkers in Santa Clara County, California, are about to get their first Covid vaccine dose thanks to a collaboration among United Farm Workers (UFW), the UFW Foundation, and local employers.

Santa Clara County health officials announced in late February that 1,000 workers from nearby farms would receive vaccination shots at the Monterey Mushrooms facility.

The county's first mobile vaccination clinic will target farmworkers, as part of a new push to reach sectors like education, emergency services, and food and agriculture. The rollout comes after the Board of Supervisors expanded vaccine eligibility to include those working in education, social services, and emergency services — a first for Santa Clara County. Now officials plan to expand that reach even further, bringing a clinic into agricultural Gilroy.

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