Day laborers go door to door, urging others to get COVID vaccination

On this Labor Dy, dozens of day laborers fanned out across Sn Francisco's Excelsior District urging people to get the COVID vaccination.

They left door hangers that said in English and Spanish "Let's Build Community Immunity."

"We need to vaccinate. We don't want any more spread of sickness around San Francisco." said day laborer Gonzalo Moran. 

He says they are particularly vulnerable to infection because their work often takes them into the homes of people they don't know.

At least nine day laborers have died during the pandemic.

"it's dangerous. Everyone is worried about it," said Roman Gonzalez.

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Peter Chin-Hong, a UC San Francisco infectious disease specialist says that vaccines are crucial for day laborers and those who employ them.

"You are not really sure of ventilation status. You are not really sure of contacts and risk exposure going into people's homes.," he says.

The vaccination rate is high in San Francisco's Latinx community, about 80 percent. But it's hard to know how many undocumented immigrants are unvaccinated.

"When we think about vaccine rates these are averages. They don't account for pockets of unvaccinated folks. We do know pockets of unvaccinated folks are really where the virus spreads," said Chin-Hong.

In many communities, vaccine resistance is still an obstacle.

"There's a lot of fear. A lot of misconceptions and plain old falsehoods that have been created," said Francisco Herrera, co-director of the SF Day Labor Program which organized Monday's campaign.

He attributes vaccine hesitancy here to confusion about the vaccine's safety and concerns about deportation even though no one getting the vaccine is asked about their immigration status.

"Slowly with these campaigns door to door, door hangings, getting out the word to the news," he said, "it is actually having a positive impact."