OXNARD, Calif. - Farmworkers with Good Farms in Oxnard were among the first to take part in the Ventura County Farmworker Vaccination Project.
113 of the essential workers lined up to get an extra layer of protection against COVID.
“There is a great opportunity for us because we work closely with about 10 other people daily, so for all of us to be vaccinated is a great benefit,” said farmworker Edgar Bautista.
Farmworkers are not yet eligible for vaccines based on the state's distribution phases, but public health leaders say getting at least some of them vaccinated is critical.
“These brave farmworkers are essential to putting food on our table, and they continued to work this whole time. They didn’t have the opportunity to isolate or stay at home, they continued to work for us," said Ventura County Executive Officer Mike Powers.
This project comes as case numbers continue to decline county and state-wide. As of Friday, Ventura County's case rate was 25 cases per 100,000 people. If this rate holds, all elementary schools will be allowed to open for in-person learning.
“On Sunday we expect that trend to continue and that would allow schools beginning on Monday to open if they submitted their plan,” said Rigo Vargas, Ventura County Public Health Director.
The county also has three new mega vaccination sites which are located at Rose Avenue in Oxnard, Nordhoff High School in Ojai and the Ventura County Office of Education in Camarillo.
Despite this, vaccines remain scarce in supply due to bad weather impacting shipments. Fortunately, these delays have not yet forced the county to cancel any appointments.
“Approximately 3,000 appointments will open on Monday, and we will have second dose appointments continue to be available,” said Powers.
The county is now gearing up to vaccinate essential workers by moving into the next vaccination phase by March 1.
“That is about 100,000 people in that group, so if you can imagine, that is a lot of people with still limited supply. So its going to take time,” Powers explained.
For breakdowns of daily COVID-19 cases across Ventura County, click here.