Tulare County needs more medical volunteers to administer COVID-19 vaccine

A long list of licensed medical professionals, from nurses to dentists, can apply to volunteer.
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As vaccine supply increases and eligibility expands, Tulare County health officials say they need more medically-trained volunteers to help vaccinate the public.

A long list of licensed medical professionals, from nurses to dentists, can apply to volunteer at vaccination clinics throughout Tulare County.

Fresno State and College of the Sequoias nursing students administered the COVID-19 vaccine to hundreds of Tulare County residents on Thursday.

Michelle Thao never expected to find herself on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

But here she was, drawing and administering doses, giving grandparents the chance to see their grandchildren again.

"And I was like, 'Oh my God, that's so nice, I'm so happy to be doing this'," Thao said. "And everybody has been very grateful for this and definitely, it's rewarding."

As more vaccines are shipped to Tulare County and more appointments are scheduled, health officials say they need more medical volunteers who can administer the shot.

"We get you scheduled, we have flexible schedules, and it's a great way to help your community and help bring us bring this horrible pandemic to an end," Tulare County HHSA's Carrie Monteiro says.

She says new faces will also help offset some of the fatigue many current volunteers are starting to feel.

"On your day off, if you're willing to help us in this effort, to help us in volunteering, then we can give those who have been at this for months now a much-needed rest," Monteiro says.

"Going to bed exhausted because you made a small difference is better than going to bed exhausted from worry," says James McDonnell, a College of the Sequoias professor and non-medical volunteer at the school's vaccination site.

The work has been fulfilling, and he knows he'll be even busier soon.

"We may never be special or important enough on a big national scale, but in your own community you can support the heroes who are keeping us safe," McDonnell says. "And it's your time to stand up and be counted and do something, give back."

Meanwhile, the state is also seeking help with vaccine distribution through its My Turn-Volunteer initiative.

Medical and general support volunteers are able to register here.

Click here to apply to be a medical trained volunteer with the county.
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