By CBSLA Staff

COACHELLA (CBSLA) — While visiting a vaccination site in the Coachella Valley, Gov. Gavin Newsom took time to thank the region’s farm workers for their essential work during the pandemic.

Newsom has been visiting vaccination sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego to highlight the state’s efforts to ramp up vaccinations. The state has so far administered more than 6 million doses.

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(credit: CBS)

However, it took 11 months to get to 6 million vaccinations, and Newsom said farm workers should be recognized for their work keeping grocery stores stocked and people fed.

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“These things don’t just magically arrive in the grocery store,” he said, holding up an orange. “There are folks out there every single day, in 120-degree heat, that makes sure these arrive [at] your grocery store.”

Agricultural workers are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, along with teachers and first responders, but not before several farm regions were hit hard by the virus.

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Ninety-five cases of COVID-19 were identified at farm worker housing facility in Oxnard early on in the pandemic, and public health officials say Hispanic populations are particularly vulnerable to infection, partly because they tend to live in multi-generational households and work essential jobs.