Berrien County in need of volunteers with vaccine efforts
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- The Berrien County Health Department issuing a call for volunteers to help with vaccinations as the entire state of Michigan tries to ramp up its effort.
The health department saying they’re in need of all types of volunteers from helping schedule appointments and moving people through vaccine clinics to actually putting needles into arms.
The waitlist to get vaccinated now sits at over 20,000 after an overwhelming amount of interest from those ages 65 and up - who became eligible just two weeks ago.
“With Berrien County only receiving a couple thousand doses each week, you can imagine it’s going to take some time for us to move through everybody who is eligible at this time,” said Gillian Conrad, MPH, Communications Manager at the Berrien County Health Department.
The health department and Spectrum Health Lakeland now asking anyone 18 and up who can commit to 20 hours a month to volunteer. Especially, those with healthcare experience, as their current employees just aren’t enough to meet the demand.
“This would include nurses, doctors, medical assistants, pharmacy techs or pharmacists,” said Conrad. “Every single person who is giving a vaccination is licensed to do so, they have the medical background and liability insurance to back them up, there is a thorough license and background check.”
But since an operation like this calls for a lot of manpower, they’re also searching for non-clinical volunteers to help move the process along more efficiently.
“People who are able to assist with making phone calls for scheduling, filling out forms, serving as greeters or parking lot attendants,” said Conrad. “If you are friendly and want to be a part of this effort, we encourage you to fill out a form to volunteer.”
The health department has a goal of getting 90 percent of those roughly 1,000 vaccines they receive each week distributed within seven days.
If you’d like to sign up to volunteer at either the Berrien County Health Department or Lakeland Hospital, click here.