California launches program that grants eligibility to those who volunteer at COVID-19 vaccination sites
- Californians who aren't yet eligible for the
COVID-19 vaccinecan get the shot by volunteering at vaccination sites.
- A new statewide program is granting
vaccineeligibility to volunteers who help inoculate others.
- Individuals who work at least four hours at a state distribution site can receive the vaccine through the program.
Californians looking for a COVID-19 vaccine only need four free hours and a helping hand to jump the line, thanks to a new statewide
California Volunteers, in conjunction with the Office of the Governor, is granting vaccine eligibility to any resident who volunteers to help others at inoculation sites across the state.
The new program launched last week in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the communities most impacted by the virus, accelerating the rate of vaccinations across the entire state, according to a state press release.
Individuals who are interested can sign up to serve at MyTurnVolunteer, an online tool that provides nearby vaccination distribution sites based on a zip code. Both medical and non-medical volunteers are needed at sites across the state.
Doctors, registered nurses, pharmacists, and dentists can all help in administering vaccinations, including prep work and injections, while non-medical volunteers are given administrative tasks, such as language support, greeting and registering recipients, sanitizing surfaces, and directing traffic.
Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, a spokesperson for
This includes residents who are not yet eligible under the state's vaccination guidelines which currently prioritize
"If you volunteer for four hours or more you're classified within one of the tiers," Aguilar told the outlet. "You're classified as a community health worker from the California essential workforce list."
According to the SFGate report, many distribution sites are asking for volunteers ages 18 and older, but age requirements vary between sites.
The statewide vaccination effort also encourages residents to help increase vaccination awareness in other ways, such as educating friends and family with vaccine facts and helping eligible neighbors schedule and travel to appointments.
Insider reached out to California Volunteers for comment.
California has already administered 10,628,752 vaccines as of Tuesday, according to data gathered by the state's Department of Health.
Other states and cities have taken similar steps to ramp up vaccination rates. Thousands of Washington state volunteers were given vaccines after volunteering at distribution sites, but there is no official program in place guaranteeing volunteers a dose, according to a report by the Associated Press, as well as volunteers in Georgia and Indiana, CNN reported.
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