Riverside County and its community partners ramped up vaccination efforts for farmworkers in the Coachella Valley.
Thursday morning, hundreds of farmworkers lined up at Tudor Ranch in Mecca to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
"It's a very unique event, the first of its kind, I would say through California and in the nation," said Yaoska Machado, a spokesperson for Riverside County
Officials say close to 300 farmworkers were vaccinated Thursday morning.
"We're doing everything possible to ensure the vaccination of our farm workers, they're essential," said District 4 Supervisor Manuel Perez.
Among the farmworkers who rolled up their sleeves for a shot was Jose Corona. Corona says he was anxiously waiting for his turn.
"I feel happy, very happy with the vaccine," Corona said.
His co-worker, Ezequiel Hernandez, says he is now relieved knowing his family is a little safer when he goes home after work.
"We know that if our workers are healthy, their families are healthy, their communities are healthy, and the community is healthy," said Luz Gallegos, director of the TODEC Legal Center, a grassroots community-based organization.
But as they move forward, Dr. Conrado Bárzaga of the Desert Healthcare District said that the task to quickly vaccinate the farm community comes with challenges.
"The availability of vaccines, we don't have enough vaccines to deploy as fast we can," Bárzaga said.
Nonetheless, community leaders who fought for vaccine clinics targeted to field workers called today a triumph.
"We hope that all the counties, not only in the state of California but in the nation do what we have done here today," Gallegos said.