coronavirus pandemic

Cal Fire San Diego Through Operation Collaboration Begins Vaccinating Farmworkers

On Wednesday, the county announced those in Phase 1B were eligible for vaccinations

NBC Universal, Inc.

Farmworkers with the Carlsbad Strawberry Company were the first group in the food and agriculture sector in San Diego County to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the county announced those in Phase 1B were eligible for vaccinations. That group includes employees in schools, education, childcare, non-medical emergency responders and workers in the food and agriculture sectors.

About a half-million county residents would newly be available for the shots as a result of the decision, according to officials.

Through Operation Collaboration Cal Fire San Diego is working to target some of the most vulnerable hard to reach communities throughout the county and delivered the vaccines to the farmworkers.

"Today, we have 50 vaccines set aside for the agricultural workers since their tier opened today and that's what we're out here doing," said Cal Fire San Diego Deputy Chief Jason Malneritch.

One worker told NBC 7 it was every important for her to receive the vaccine.

"This is very important because we're dealing with the public every day and we're exposed to so many people. Just protecting ourselves is very important, especially when we're issuing food to the community," said Robyn Ukegawa, who works for the Carlsbad Strawberry Company.

Malneritch told NBC 7 Operation Collaboration will be deploying to other agricultural sites throughout East and North county to distribute vaccines.

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