Special half-day clinic in Arroyo Grande vaccinates 600 in partnership with Farm Worker Outreach Task Force

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health reported that more than 600 County agriculture workers received COVID-19 vaccinations at a special half-day clinic in Arroyo Grande on Friday, Mar. 19.

The event was hosted in collaboration with partners in the SLO County Farm Worker Outreach Task Force and the first of several planned at the County’s vaccination clinics in Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande.

“I am thrilled that together we can provide vaccines to so many of our local agriculture workers,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “Events like this are key to ensuring equitable and efficient access to vaccines, and I am grateful to the partners working tirelessly with us to ensure farmworkers get the critical protection this vaccine provides.”

According to reports, agriculture workers and their families across California have faced increased risk from COVID-19. This clinic for agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and community partners has helped register workers in groups. Multilingual volunteers from the Promotores Collaborative, Herencia Indígena, and Dignity Health provided on-site interpretation and health education.

“It’s so important for our farm workers, especially in our Latino and Indigenous communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, to get updated health information and services like the vaccine from trusted messengers in an environment that is welcoming and safe,” said Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia, Director of the Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County.

Prior to the event, SLO County reports that health educators visited work sites to share COVID-19 vaccine information. According to the County, the goal is to build on the ongoing work of SLO County’s Farm Worker Outreach Task Force, which is convened by the County in collaboration with agriculture and health care partners.  

Workers in the food and agriculture sector can also get the vaccine at the County’s regular vaccine clinics or from community providers like pharmacies.

“This is a proud day for our Farm Bureau and agriculture community. I don’t think we’ve ever been a part of something more important than getting this vaccine to our essential agricultural workers,” said Brent Burchett, Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau. “We never stopped farming during this pandemic. So many times over this past year, we’ve heard ‘thank you, farmworkers,’ but today, I think we truly showed our gratitude for their work.”

For information on COVID-19 vaccine in SLO County, visit RecoverSLO.org/vaccine or call the County’s phone assistance center at (805)543-2444, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.