NEWLAND, N.C. (WBTV) - Avery County’s new Mobile Health Clinic hit the road again on Friday, this time heading out of town to get closer to area farms so workers there would have a chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine without spending half a day at an in-town clinic.
Most of the farmworkers are from south of the border. They are in the USA legally under the H2A Farmworkers Program. Most work in the Christmas tree and plant nursery farms and are considered essential workers.
“Absolutely, we could not make it without them,” said farmer Ronnie Beam.
The clinic on Friday was made possible after another county gave Avery County a supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The one-shot vaccination was important for these workers, said officials, in case they move out of state or back to south of the border.
Health Director Debbie Gragg said they deserved to be vaccinated as much as anyone: “They go to the same grocery stores, restaurants, everything that everyone else goes to.”
Beam says they work hard and are an important part of the community and he hopes all will step up and bare their arms for a shot.
“Keep everybody as safe as we possibly can,” he said.