More than 250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given to Ivanhoe residents on March 21 at the Memorial Building
By Mayra Becerra
For the last year, Tulare County has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. From closing schools to increasing hospitalizations, few have been able to escape the ways of life that had been changed.
Now that there are three leading vaccinations including, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson Tulare County residents have options for vaccination.
Advocates for Ivanhoe wanted to make sure residents have access to the vaccine. Although many clinics have been held in neighboring cities, this was a first for Ivanhoe. One of the barriers that this group was able to overcome was Ivanhoe currently does not have a pharmacy, a much-needed business within our town.
Blanca Escobedo, an advocate with Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, worked with Maria Herrera, the Central Valley Deputy Regional Director from governor Newsom’s office, to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Sunday, March 21, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ivanhoe Memorial Building.
The state of California worked with OptumServe to help administer the vaccines in the same building that COVID tests had taken place previously.
Door-to-door flyer distribution was done the previous week by Escobedo’s team. Her goal was to reach as many people within Ivanhoe. Although the event was prioritized to give access to food and agricultural workers it was opened up to others to give access to other residents.
The first dose of the Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine was administered to those who attended the vaccine clinic. There was no pre-registration required, instead, attendees were asked a series of questions to determine if there were any potential risks they might experience.
Although there was a late start and the clinic closed a bit early, nurses were able to administer more than 250 vaccines to attendees. Attendees will need to receive the second dose because Pfizer is a two-dose vaccine. It is still unknown if they will host the second dose Pfizer vaccination clinic in Ivanhoe.
Asked why she attend the vaccination event, one resident commented, “Having the vaccine allows me the chance to not have severe symptoms if I were to contract Covid 19. Although I’ve received my first vaccine I have to keep safe by still wearing a mask and remain socially distanced.”
It should be noted that while covid vaccinations significantly reduce the possibility of severe symptoms and the need for hospitalization, even vaccinated residents can still contract the coronavirus. In other words, the coronavirus can still be spread by people who have been fully vaccinated.
Tulare County public health officials strongly encourage residents to continue practicing covid-safe behavior, especially as the weather is warming up and more in-person events are likely to occur. Specifically, health officials recommend:
- Staying home and avoiding crowds as much as possible
- Wearing masks over your nose and mouth while staying at least 6 feet from others when possible
- Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands
- Avoiding spaces with poor ventilation. In vehicles keep windows open, sit far apart, and wearing masks anytime you are riding with others.
- Avoiding shaking hands or any unnecessary physical contact
As Tulare County continues to make progress, we all must do our part to avoid setting us back even further.