Officials seeking volunteers for mass vaccination efforts

NOW: Officials seeking volunteers for mass vaccination efforts

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.-- The St. Joseph County Department of Health is calling on folks in Michiana to sign up and volunteer any time they can to help in what they call one of the greatest vaccination campaigns our community will face.

“The process is simple, someone can go easily to our website,” St. Joseph County Department of Health Director of Health Outreach Promotions and Education Robin Vida said. “We’re hoping to have long days, numerous days a week, we’re hoping to utilize you know at least 40 volunteers a day so we need a good, a good amount that are kind of in our reserve.”

Health officials are asking both certified healthcare workers to help administer vaccines, and even the general public, anyone 16 or older, to help with non-medical tasks.

“We’ll have someone there who with help greet them, will help complete any paperwork that may be needed, answer any questions. Volunteers will also be helping with sanitizing the area and enforcing those COVID-19 safety protocols, as well as if someone is credentialed, they can actually administer the vaccine and help observe,” Vida

Their goal is to reach about 1,000 applicants, and already in just the span of a few weeks, several hundred community members have signed up to help in any way they can at COVID-19 vaccination clinics down the line. One volunteer said it’s the least they could do.

“I figured it was a good thing to do to volunteer to help get this COVID out of the way here and if that’s one of the ways we can do it I have time off, I don’t work on Mondays and I just thought it would be a good way to give back to the community,” South Bend community member Patti Vavul said.

Other people, not exactly on board with the idea. In a Twitter survey conducted a few weeks back when ABC57 learned about the need for volunteers, over 70% of participants voted “no” when asked if they’d consider donating their time. Officials said that while they understand the hesitancy, they’re doing their best to try to ease those concerns.

“We are aware that there are some, there’s a little bit of hesitancy and we are going to do our best to address those concerns head on,” Vida said.

“I know some people are a little Leary but, I figure they’ll have us as safe as they can like every place we go, my mask is an automatic thing, I don’t go anywhere without mine or go in anywhere without mine so I feel very safe,” Vavul said.

Health officials said that applicants are expected to receive notification on where they’re at in the process within a few weeks.

If you’re interested in volunteering when the time comes, you can apply on the health departments website.

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