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1000s of Central Valley farm workers being vaccinated

Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Thousands of Central Valley farm workers will get the COVID-19 vaccine over six weekends in March and April at the farm worker movement’s historic “Forty Acres” property just west of Delano.

Vaccination clinics will operate through a partnership between the United Farm Workers, UFW Foundation, Kern County Latino COVID-19 Task Force, Kern County, Kern Medical Center and Cesar Chavez Foundation, which owns and manages the grounds. The first clinics take place on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14, at 30168 Garces Hwy. (corner of Mettler Ave.), Delano.

Event partners are encouraging farm workers to call the bilingual toll free call centers of UFW Foundation (661-501-4280) and the Latino COVID task force’s Project Abuelita (661-525-5900) for appointments to get their shots. They will be administered at the Forty Acres by staff from the Kern Medical Center that will also handle check-in and administration. It is all being supported by Kern County, the farm worker movement and the Latino COVID task force.

Vaccinations are open to all farm workers 18 years and older at no charge. No health insurance is required. No doctor’s note or order is needed.

Farm workers have turned to the Forty Acres with their problems since the 1960s. The 40-acre site includes the spacious Reuther Hall where vaccination personnel will set up shop. Workers and other poor Latinos have regularly visited the Forty Acres during the pandemic for distribution of large quantities of emergency food and face masks.

Schedule for vaccination clinics providing the first round of shots at the Forty Acres (times are subject to change):

• Weekend 1: Saturday, March 13, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday, March 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• Weekend 2: Saturday, March 20, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday, March 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• Weekend 3: Saturday, March 27, 1-7 p.m.; Sunday, March 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

• Special event: Cesar Chavez birthday, Wednesday, March 31, 4-7 p.m.

Details on the second round of shots will follow.