Region needs volunteers to give COVID vaccines
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, Columbia, Greene and other Capital Region counties are in need of volunteers to assist at vaccination points of distribution, known as PODs. Albany Medical Center is the coordinator for the network's Capital Region hub, and it has been developing plans for distribution across Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties. About 1 million people in New York will need to be vaccinated and hundreds of volunteers will be needed to accomplish this task, according to Albany Med. Licensed practical nurses, licensed pharmacists, midwives, dentists, certain dental hygienists, podiatrists and emergency medical technicians can volunteer to administer vaccinations. Columbia County Department of Health Director Jack Mabb estimates the county will need at least 60 non-medical volunteers to assist at the PODS. He said they are in the process of developing at least four teams of people to work at the vaccination sites, and each team will need about 15 non-medical volunteers. PODS will also have other volunteers with a medical background and members of the county Department of Health facilitating inoculations. “If anybody out there wants to help with the vaccination, you don’t have to be a medical person to volunteer,” Mabb said. “We need people at the vaccination PODs to help with what we call flow facilitation.” In addition to volunteers with a medical background to do the actual vaccinations, there is also a need for volunteers to take information and help with registration, Mabb said. The state wants county health department staff and medical volunteers at vaccination PODs to be inoculated against the virus, but Mabb said the state has not indicated if other volunteers working in a non-medical capacity will also be eligible to receive a COVID vaccine at this time. Anyone wanting to volunteer to help with COVID vaccinations can sign up through ServNY on the state website health.ny.gov. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.