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California launches program for any resident to get vaccinated through volunteering

The new statewide program in California allows vaccine eligibility to volunteers who help others at vaccination sites across the state.

California Volunteers, combined with the Office of the Governor, announced the volunteer recruitment campaign to assist the state’s efforts to strengthen COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the communities most impacted by the coronavirus, according to a state press release.

Health workers including doctors, registered nurses, pharmacists and dentists can help in administering the vaccination, including prep work and injections. On the other hand, administrative tasks like language support, greeting and registering recipients, sanitizing surfaces, will be carried out by non-medical volunteers. 

Individuals who are interested to volunteer can sign up at MyTurnVolunteer, an online tool facility that gives nearby vaccination sites based on a zip code.   

The new program allows individuals, who work at least four hours at a state distribution center, to receive the vaccine. According to Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, a spokesperson for California Volunteers, while some sites are requesting volunteers to work eight-hour shifts, volunteers who work at least four hours, can receive a vaccine with the clinic administrator’s approval. 

Residents who are not yet eligible to receive the shot under the state’s vaccination guidelines can gain from this program and get vaccinated. According to SFGate, many distribution sites are asking for volunteers aged 18 and above, although age requirements vary among different sites. “If you volunteer for four hours or more, you’re classified within one of the tiers,” said Aguilar to SFGate. “You’re classified as a community health worker from the California essential workforce list.”  

The statewide vaccination program also aims to raise vaccination awareness among the residents of the state, by educating friends and family vaccine facts and helping vaccine-eligible neighbors to travel and make appointments. As per the data collected by the state’s Department of Health, California has already administered more than 10,628,752 vaccines as of last week.

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ARTICLE: LIDHYA SHILU

SCIENCE/HEALTH EDITOR: KYLE SMITH

PHOTO CREDITS: USNEWS.COM

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