FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – With some areas of Fresno experiencing high rates of vaccine hesitancy, local health officials are working hard to protect more people from COVID-19.
The Fresno County Department of Health and UCSF hosted the first Vaccines in the Park event as part of its Vaxtravaganza, offering several incentives to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
Health ministry officials are targeting zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates, especially with new concerns about the more contagious Delta variant.
Shooting in the arms was the goal of health officials at the Vaxtravaganza event at Holmes Neighborhood Center as people lined up to protect themselves from COVID-19.
“It was pretty good actually… I was surprised I wasn’t scared or anything,” said Persiah Mendez of Fresno.
Helen Mendez took her granddaughter Persian to receive her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I’m proud of her because a lot of our family won’t get it because they don’t believe it, but it’s real, it’s out there, so it’s to protect everything the world, ”said Helen.
According to the Fresno County Department of Health, less than 50% of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In ZIP code 93721, where the pop-up vaccination clinic was held, the vaccination rate is less than 30%.
“These people are hesitant. They haven’t done a lot of research on the vaccine or haven’t had a chance to research the vaccine. So we are working in partnership with these organizations to help, ”said Leticia Berber of the Fresno County Department of Health.
For Eileen Gonzalez, it wasn’t the free food, Subway gift cards, or food that motivated her to get the shot. It was accessibility.
“Some people are difficult to access, some people have a car, some don’t. It’s a little hard for me to move around, but it’s right here, so I was walking around, so I said, ‘ah, eh,’ ”Gonzalez said.
There will be 6 more Vaxtravaganza events around Fresno until July 31.
All are free and paid for through Federal Cares Funding.
You can find the full list of events here.