KERN COUNTY, Calif. — The mass vaccination site at the Kern County Fairgrounds is doing its part locally in the race to get Californians vaccinated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The state has administered more than 9 million doses so far, with hopes to vaccinate millions more.
Health officials said the process is going well so far at their mass vaccination site, where they've vaccinated more than 12,000 people. On Tuesday, 23ABC got to meet a few of them.
For Evelyn Boyd, the long days contemplating whether she should get a COVID-19 vaccine are over.
"I wasn't sure about it either because you know, I felt like I’m covered by the blood of Jesus," said Boyd.
But Boyd credits her husband for changing her mind. Now she’s one of the many with a vaccination.
But her shot highlights a concern with vaccines and demographics. According to the state, 33% of the vaccine recipients in Kern County are white, 25% Latino, 4% Asian, and 2% black.
"We need trusted messengers to go into these communities," said Nick Hill of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce.
Hill said he would like to see more people in the black community get vaccinated.
"It's the lack of education about the vaccine. It's a lack of outreach getting out to the African-American communities to get the word in about the importance of taking the vaccine," continued Hill.
That kind of messaging is valuable according to Kern County spokeswoman Ally Triolo. That's why she said the county has worked to reach all communities.
"We want them to know that we're here for them and that we understand their concerns. We are here to address them and make sure that their needs are being met so that they do feel comfortable getting vaccinated,” said Triolo.
In the meantime, a more targeted approach is around the corner. One way that's done is through a PSA which Kern County Public Health said they are still preparing. They recently put up billboards throughout our community.
As for Boyd, she said getting the vaccine was a good decision for her. She said she feels safe now and will encourage her loved ones to do the same.
"Now I'm comfortable enough to tell my daughters. I will push them to take it because I think they should because if we're going to get this whole family together, we need to all get this shot."
The mass vaccination site at the fairgrounds expects to vaccinate 1,100 people a day this week. According to the site, they are still not using their vaccine drive-thru due to vaccination limitations, so when they have more vaccines available, they'll start welcoming people to get vaccinated in their cars.