It’s no secret that the vaccination rollout in California has been a little chaotic. While the state received the highest supply of the drug, delivery was slower than other states. The process also left a little confused with eligibility varying in every county and many essential workers being pushed further down the list. Thankfully, things have been streamlined with the introduction of an online platform that allows Angelenos to find out whether they meet the requirements.
Those able to receive shots expanded to people 65 and older, but it only seemed to push vulnerable groups of essential workers further down the list. Then there were a few communication mishaps leaving some sites with availability completely empty, followed by a sharp shutdown of sites like Dodger Stadium due to shortages.
Labour groups and lawmakers have been pushing Newsom to prioritize the needs of the hands bringing food to the nation: farmworkers. The majority of these essential field workers are Latinos, a group that has been disproportionately affected by the virus.
Now, finally, some agricultural workers are receiving shots in part of California. This week around 800 employees will receive shots at a cantaloupe farm in Firebaugh, California. Riverside County has also begun registering frontline food employees for appointments at pop-up vaccination sites with Governor Gavin Newsom praising the efforts to vaccinate workers through mobile clinics.
“What this county has done no other county in the state had done, you were first to advance the cause of rhetorical equity,” Newsom said in a broadcast from a Coachella packinghouse. “We need to replicate this program all up and down the state of California.”
The full broadcast can be watched below:
Meanwhile, L.A. County will be expanding eligibility to agricultural worker in mid-March.
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