MONTE VISTA — The mood was cheerful as a broad network of community members gathered at Sargent School to provide COVID-19 vaccinations on Friday, March 26.
The event organizers’ top priority was to provide vaccines to agricultural workers, a group that has been at high risk for COVID-19 and is underserved when it comes to vaccines. It was also open to all community members who were eligible for the vaccine through Phase 1B.4.
There were 335 people who received a vaccine, of which almost 40% were Spanish-speakers. There was no vaccine wasted. Planning for a second-dose clinic is underway for Friday April 23, at the same Sargent Schools location .
Primary sponsors of the event were Rio Grande County Public Health, Colorado Potato Administrative Committee (CPAC), Sargent Schools, Valley-Wide Health Systems, and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Additional partners and volunteers were also critical to the success of the event. A total of 86 people worked on Spanish interpreting, vaccine administration, traffic control, safety/security, and a host of other tasks.
CPAC provided lunch for volunteers and snacks for attendees. Snack bags donated by SLV Area Health Education Center and the Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley were distributed by the Migrant Education Program Rising Scholars and two youth from the Boys and Girls Club to celebrate agricultural week.
“It was great to see this kind of support from the community. We are grateful to everyone who helped, and to Sargent School for the use of their facility,” said Dr. Kolawole Bankole, Director of Rio Grande County Public Health.
Additional organizations that helped in planning and putting on the event include Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis, San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center, SLV Health, Rio Grande Hospital, Rio Grande County Office of Emergency Management, Rio Grande National Forest Service, Pine Fire, Center Migrant Headstart, Monte Vista School District, Red Cross, Adams State University, public health staff from Alamosa, Rio Grande, and Saguache Counties, Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, CDLE, Monte Vista Ambulance Agency, Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, SLV Agricultural Council, SLV Cattlemen’s Association, and unaffiliated individuals.