By Community Alliance Staff
Bernandina Hernández was born in Guerrero state, Mexico, and worked in the fields of California for more than 20 years. She now works in a packing warehouse in Sanger. When the Covid-19 vaccine arrived in the Central Valley, Hernández went to Madera to get vaccinated because she didn’t want to wait.
“They didn’t vaccinate me there,” said Hernández. “They said I didn’t qualify because of my profession.”
At the beginning of the vaccination rollout, certain professions were prioritized to get the vaccine. “‘What do you mean I don’t have a profession?’ I asked them. I have seven kids, and my profession is to be sure there is food at our table every day.”
At the time, health authorities recommended that people register online, according to their age, to get vaccinated.
“I barely know how to read and write. How can they expect me to use the Internet?” asked Hernández. “We go to work about 5 a.m. and come back at 5 p.m.; at that time, you can’t do much.”
To make things worse, Hernández contracted Covid-19 in December 2020. “For a while, I couldn’t even hear anything; I was deaf.”
Concerned, Hernández asked the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Sanger office for help with the registration. She finally got both doses at the United Health Clinic. But she didn’t calm down until all her children got vaccinated.
“I didn’t feel anything. With the second dose, I got a sore but nothing else,” said Hernández. “I don’t understand those who don’t want to get vaccinated.
“They put us at risk. And they say weird things like if you get vaccinated you are going to die… They get those arguments from Facebook, or they listen to similar things somewhere, but it’s all fake. They have bad information.”