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By Veronica Jacuinde
Wasco Tribune 

Residents keep coming for vaccination incentive Veronica Jacuinde


Last updated 9/5/2022 at 6:16am

Veronica Jacuinde | Wasco Tribune

Francisca Perez, with Mayor Gilberto Reyna, said she appreciated receiving the gift card.

The monthly covid vaccination clinic was back this past weekend, and once again, Wasco residents who were vaccinated received a $50 Visa gift card.

Through the leadership of Mayor Gilberto Reyna and the council, the City of Wasco provided this incentive by allocating $25,000 to fund the program.

"So far, it has been successful. We have, on average, vaccinated about 90 people at each clinic over several months since we started this program, and we will continue to give the gift cards as long as we have them," said Mayor Reyna.

He said the clinics are special because they are helping to improve the health of the community and reducing the risk of severe illness for those vaccinated. He hopes with the incentive program, they will continue to see a good turnout at the clinics.

Wasco residents that were vaccinated and received the gift cards were grateful.

"It's a great idea to help the community. I'm going to spend the money on something useful – like food and gas," said Mario Covarrubias.

Luz Lopez said that she was excited about the $50.

"I am starting college and will use the money to buy the things I need for my dorm," said Lopez.

United Against Covid-19, in partnership with the City of Wasco and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, sponsored the event.

The UAC is a coalition that includes the Dolores Huerta Foundation, South Kern Sol News and Lideres Campesinas, which were represented at the event. They shared information and resources, along with food boxes.

The Dolores Huerta Foundation distributed at-home rapid covid tests, safety masks and sanitizer.

"The information booths were very educational, and I liked everything they were giving away," said Francisca Perez.

Elizabeth Palencia of the DHF said they try to promote vaccinations by coming out here for the clinics every month.

"We make it easy and accessible. If people have any questions or any myths we are here to tell them that getting vaccinated is safe and efficient," said Palencia.

Palencia said they participate because there is a need in low-income communities like Wasco.

"We bring many contacts and resources they can take advantage of to stay healthy when they come to events like this."

Those that attended agreed it was critical to get vaccinated.

"I got the vaccine because it saves lives, mine and everyone else," said Juan Cuevas. "I am doing it to protect myself and others from getting covid too."

Some are more susceptible.

"I am older, and I'm at a greater risk. I work in the fields and am around a lot of people. You don't know who has Covid and could spread it to me," said Jose Luis de Valle Morales.

There were those that came from out of town. Donna Grateroles brought her husband.

"We came from McFarland. I heard about the event and thought, let's go," said Grateroles. "We need our booster shots."

Whole families attended.

Veronica Jacuinde | Wasco Tribune

Mario Covarrubias and Sujey Gutierrez were at the library for their booster shots.

Dulce Maria Antelo came with her three children and said they all got follow-up vaccinations to protect themselves from infection.

She suffered a loss in her family because of Covid.

"My sister died before the vaccines came out. If she had gotten the vaccine, maybe she would have survived," said Antelo. "I think covid will continue, and if one is not vaccinated, they will be exposed."

For those that are on the fence about getting their vaccinations, Santos Garcia said, "You should think about your loved ones. I think it's selfish not to do it."

The next covid vaccination clinic will be the last Sunday of September – Sept. 25..


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