San Luis Valley Community Groups Host Vaccine Clinics For Latinos And Farmworkers

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A syringe of COVID-19 vaccine at North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton, Dec. 17, 2020.

A community group called Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis is helping people in the San Luis Valley get COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Luis Murillo, who works with the group, said they are partnering with Sacred Heart Catholic Church to host a vaccine clinic in Alamosa on March 20.

Los Promotores has offered support to Latinos, many who work in agriculture, since coronavirus outbreaks at mushroom farms and potato warehouses last May revealed a gap in public health information and access. Much of the group’s early outreach efforts were aimed at providing coronavirus information in Spanish, along with providing food boxes to families and hosting information sessions on their Facebook group.

Murillo said now he and other members of the organization are calling people on the phone to help sign them up for vaccine appointments, offering translation services, and sharing information about the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson options for vaccinations. 

"Some of them are surprised to be receiving a call," Murillo said. "They're surprised at the fact that they're eligible. It seems like here in the Valley, with the efforts of everyone, it's moving pretty quickly."

The clinic plans to distribute 250 vaccines this weekend to farmworkers, their families, and others who are eligible in the state's current phased distribution plan.

"It just feels like we're contributing to people's happiness and health and for all of us to just get back to some sense of normality here in the Valley," Murillo said.

They’re not the only ones helping to increase vaccination outreach to members of the community. Murillo added there are also farmers and ranchers who have allowed pop-up mobile clinic sites at their workplaces. Valley-Wide Health Systems hosted a vaccine clinic for workers at Skyline Potato Company on March 12. 

"It almost feels like we're part of something really big," Murillo said. "We're so lucky to live in a rural place where the community comes together and we all work together to fight COVID."

How to get the COVID-19 Vaccine in the San Luis Valley 

Who is eligible for a vaccine in Colorado right now:

  • Anyone 60 or older
  • K-12 teachers or school staff
  • Nursing home residents
  • Grocery store workers
  • Health care workers
  • Agricultural processing workers
  • People 16-59 with two or more high-risk health conditions

Making a vaccine appointment: