As vaccinations continue to circulate, the news of communities who are vastly underserved seems to fly under the radar. One group in particular is farmworkers, who have been hit especially hard by the impact of COVID-19.
The United Farm Workers' Elizabeth Strater explained that at least 1 in 3 farmworkers in California have COVID-19 antibodies, which means they have already been infected with the virus. According to Marketplace Business News, who gathered data from Purdue University, as much as 18% of the US agricultural and farmworker population has tested positive for COVID-19, a number that pales in comparison to 5% of the nation's general population.
The challenge is now making sure that these essential workers are going out to get their vaccinations, which apparently has been difficult due to far-fetched myths about inoculation.
“There’s several myths that are circulating in our community," said Trinidad Solis of the Fresno County Department of Public Health. "Some of them being that perhaps the vaccines can integrate into our DNA or that there’s a microchip in them.”
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Ricardo Castorena, a former educator and current DJ, is traveling from farm to farm and using his beat-matching skills to combat this phenomenon.
Performing DJ sets to attract workers to local vaccination sites, Castorena is doing major outreach out in Selma, California, an agricultural community in the Central Valley.
“I told them, if you get vaccinated, I’m gonna throw your farm a carne asada party,” Castorena said. “So now, I had to go have a carne asada party in the middle of a field, which I’ve done many times. But there’s always these funny ways to convince them, right? Because we’re, in our culture, la fiesta is everything.”
You can read the full story detailing Castorena's efforts here.