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Volunteers allow COVID-19 vaccine clinics to move forward across Ohio

If you've been to a vaccine clinic, you've probably noticed how easy and smooth the process is. Most of people running those clinics are volunteers.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Health care workers have been giving the community their all nonstop over the past year, and they're not done yet. If you've been to a vaccine clinic, you've probably noticed how easy and smooth the process is. And believe it or not, the people running those clinics are all volunteers.  

"Today my position is over here with the wheelchairs to help the people who have mobility problems come in and help them through the process," said volunteer nurse Antoinette Bourn.

Bourn has volunteered at a few different local clinics and said she enjoys the process of helping people get their shots. 

"I take the vaccines as they're drawn and I run them to the tables to make sure everybody has a steady supply of vaccine," Mark Smith said. Smith retired in June, and despite not having any medical training, felt helping with clinics would be a good use of his time.

And thousands of local nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and everyday people find the time to help make vaccination clinics happen, often volunteering when they are not working their normal shifts.

"We've sometimes had 11-hour days, so if you're starting at 7 in the morning and ending at 6, you might not have volunteers the whole day. So you'll split them in half - 30 in the morning 30 in the afternoon - and a bunch of people getting vaccinated!" said Joseph Wood, volunteer coordinator for the Toledo Lucas County Health Department

And despite already dealing with COVID-19 patients and other pandemic-related challenges at work, the volunteers are more than willing to step up and be a part of history. 

"I really like the running! I get all my steps in! I'm back and forth and back and forth, and I get to talk to everybody!" said Bourn said. 

"When my grandchildren ask me, 'Grandpa what did you do during the great pandemic?' I can say I did something. ... I did watch a lot of Netflix other than that," Smith said.

If you would like more information on how to volunteer for a local clinic, click here