Many COVID-19 vaccine clinics would not be possible without hundreds of volunteers who are staffing them. Some are retired medical professionals who’ve returned to give shots while others are members of the community who want to do their part.
Carol Hare retired from nursing in 2018, but for weeks now she’s been back at it, volunteering to give shots at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Winchester, Virginia.
“I saw the need and I felt that I had to do something,” she said. “Just, I had to do something.”
The large vaccine site is powered by more than 300 volunteers.
“It’s magic happening,” said Dr. Jeff Feit of Valley Health. “It’s the community, taking care of itself. It’s the most incredible thing I’ve been a part of in a long time.”
Janet Flaherty’s husband is a surgical oncologist at Valley Health. She’s been helping with registration.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
“I feel like it’s our duty, and it’s an honor to be able to give back to the community, I think,” she said.
Malik Henry, who works in Shenandoah University’s admissions office, said he was drawn to volunteer by a love of his community.
“I just think it’s a great atmosphere,” he said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things, so I wanted to be a part of it, and just, I wanted to make a difference.”
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
At Inova’s vaccine clinic, Cheryll Battle is the go-to person for patients and staff. She retired as a Fairfax Hospital vice president last year but got a call asking if she’d go back to work three days a week at the clinic.
“I thought, that would be perfect because I would be doing something that’s helping the community, helping the nation, helping everybody else,” she said.
The reward for helping give shots is immeasurable.
“I’ve had people come up and say, ‘I can finally go up and hug my grandkids,’ that kind of thing,” Hare said.
“You can’t beat the kind of work that, giving somebody hope, I think, is what I would look at it as,” Battle said.