FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2021
The County’s Mobile Vaccination Clinics Will Bring COVID-19 Vaccines to Farm Workers and Other Community Members Facing Barriers to Vaccination
Santa Clara County, CA – The County of Santa Clara launched its first mobile vaccination clinic focused on frontline workers today at Monterey Mushrooms, a large agricultural employer in Morgan Hill under a United Farm Workers union contract. The County will be providing on-site vaccination for approximately 1,000 farm workers on Sunday, February 28th and Wednesday, March 3rd in partnership with the United Farm Workers, Monterey Mushrooms, and the UFW Foundation. Workers receiving vaccinations will include employees of Monterey Mushrooms as well as other area farms. The mobile clinic builds on the County’s aggressive efforts to ensure that all community members have access to vaccination when they become eligible, especially those working in sectors and regions of the County most heavily impacted by COVID-19.
“Protecting people at greatest risk from COVID-19 is our top priority and our path out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “We are grateful to our partners at United Farm Workers, UFW Foundation, and Monterey Mushrooms for supporting the County’s mobile vaccination teams. Combined with our community-based vaccine clinics, mass vaccination sites, and many outreach efforts, mobile clinics will help get COVID vaccines to communities most impacted by the pandemic as rapidly and effectively as possible.”
The vaccine supply and clinic staffing for the mobile clinic will be provided by the County of Santa Clara, and facility, support services, and outreach will be provided by Monterey Mushrooms, United Farm Workers, and UFW Foundation. “These workers are doing the most fundamental work in our country, but have been incredibly vulnerable to COVID-19," said United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero "Our collaboration with both the County and a motivated employer shows that community vaccination programs must be a team effort."
“Our County is laser focused on equity in our vaccine rollout, and we are taking every step necessary to ensure that these vaccines are available to our community right where they live and work in order to eliminate barriers,” said Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “This collaboration between the County, labor partners, and a major employer to reach workers who are on the frontlines every day to put food on our tables is a model for similar efforts statewide.”
“Farm workers face heightened threats to their health and safety every day as essential laborers," said UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres. "That's why this partnership to provide life-saving vaccines for 1,000 farm workers is so critically important. Farm workers want to get vaccinated, but the majority of them don't have access to the vaccines. In fact, a recent UFW Foundation survey of 10,149 agricultural workers found that 73 percent expressed willingness to get vaccinated, with a further 22 percent neutral. Other counties in California must also step up to provide vaccination events that meet workers where they're at."
“These vaccination events at our farm in Morgan Hill are the direct result of hours of interaction and collaboration between our groups for a common goal, the health and welfare of farmworkers essential to food production in our county, state and country,” said Shah Kazemi, CEO of Monterey Mushrooms. “We are very pleased to see this come to fruition.”
“I want to thank the County of Santa Clara for working with the United Farm Workers to come to Monterey Mushrooms in Morgan Hill to get our farm workers vaccinated,” said Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine. “Our County has vaccinated hundreds of thousands, protecting our community members. Please stay vigilant and hopeful.”
More information about COVID-19 vaccination in Santa Clara County can be found on the County’s website at www.sccfreevax.org, with content available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Tagalog, or by calling 211 where assistance is available in multiple languages.
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ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.
Visit the County of Santa Clara at www.sccgov.org
ABOUT UNITED FARM WORKERS
Begun in 1962 by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla and other early organizers, the United Farm Workers of America is the nation’s first enduring and largest farm workers union. The UFW continues organizing in major agricultural sectors, chiefly in California. Recent years have witnessed dozens of UFW union contract victories protecting thousands of farm workers, among them agreements with the some of the largest berry, winery, tomato, dairy and mushroom companies in California and the nation. More than 75 percent of California’s fresh mushroom industry is now under union contract. Many recent UFW-sponsored laws and regulations protect all farm workers in California, especially those at non-union ranches. They include the first state standards in the U.S. to prevent further deaths and illnesses from extreme heat and in 2016 the first law in the country providing farm workers in California with overtime pay after eight hours a day. The UFW continues to actively champion legislative and regulatory reforms for farm workers covering issues such as worker protections, pesticides and immigration reform.
Visit United Farm Workers at www.ufw.org
ABOUT UFW FOUNDATION
For 15 years, the UFW Foundation has mobilized farm workers and their organizations across the country to advocate for more equitable policies, such as immigration reform, pesticide protections, heat standards, hazard pay and other worker protections. In addition to engaging farm workers in systemic change, the organization provides critical services. In fact, the UFW Foundation is the largest federally accredited immigration legal service provider in rural California. During the pandemic, the UFW Foundation has distributed over 837,000 face masks, $17,000,000 in financial assistance, 50,000 food boxes and 189,000 meals, to farm workers and other rural immigrants.
Visit UFW Foundation at www.ufwfoundation.org
ABOUT MONTEREY MUSHROOMS
Founded in 1971, Monterey Mushrooms, a family-owned company provides fresh, locally grown mushrooms to your favorite grocery stores, restaurants, food manufacturers and institutions nationwide. Today, our 4,000 teammates are proud to grow more than 200 million pounds of fresh mushrooms every year. Year-round, we grow, harvest, package and distribute fresh mushrooms from nine Monterey Mushrooms farms located across North America.
Visit Monterey Mushrooms at www.montereymushrooms.com