Vidal Menodza is one of 3-hundred fieldworkers greeted by Governor Gavin Newsom at the Seaview Packing Plant. He told the governor just how hard it’s been for him and his coworkers in the pandemic
“I was in close contact with co-workers who contracted the virus, several times. It was definitely scary, it still is,” said Mendoza
Newsom was on hand to bring awareness to the gap in vaccination amongst farm workers.
“We need to make sure we are prioritizing the vaccine distribution so I am here to highlight the great work that the county is doing first in the state to administer vaccines to farmworkers,” said Governor Newsom.
Newsom commended Riverside county for its efforts to bring mobile vaccine clinics to farmworkers, but Mendoza says he told Newsom there’s still a lot of misinformation in his community about the vaccine.
An issue that is stemming from the lack of outreach in underserved communities.
“This is why it needs to be an on-going effort,” said V. Manuel Perez, supervisor for Riverside County.
Despite the vaccination clinics, the disparities in vaccine distribution remain.
According to the states recent vaccination data 32 percent of white residents have been vaccinated and only 15 percent of latino residents have gotten the vaccine.
Even though latinos make up about 55-percent of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“We can’t deny them, we can’t act ignorant. We have a unique responsibility to address and we always must in a culturally competent way. Not one size fits all, but from the bottom up, building that healthcare delivery system. Community by community, clinic by clinic and making sure we meet people where they are,” said Newsom.
With these mobile vaccine clinics, the county of Riverside has become the model for the nation, as they continue to deliver the resources to these communities.
“We’re here to continue, to make sure that the effort and collaboration gets done ultimately in the city of coachella and east valley,” said Steven Hernandez, mayor for the city of Coachella
Organizations and leaders were grateful for Governor Newsom’s visit as he highlighted the work the county has accomplished.
However, they say it is only the beginning since there is a lot more work to do when it comes to immigrant farm workers.