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Volunteers pitch in to help fellow Utahns get vaccinated

Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 23:07:14-05

SALT LAKE CITY — An army of volunteers has joined up to help vaccinate as many Utahns as possible.

The teams made up mostly of medical professionals assist the Salt Lake County Health Department to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

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“We have over 1000 right now in our medical reserve corp." said Dorothy Adams, who assembles the teams. "We’ve had a tremendous outpouring of interest in people participating in that which has been fantastic.”

Volunteers work six-hour shifts up to two days a week. They’re eligible to get vaccinated, but Adams says their motivation goes beyond that.

“I’d say the majority of people they just want to be involved in helping. They get to say they were part of a pandemic response and hopefully that’s novel.” says Adams.

At TriCounty Health Department in Uintah County, National Guard volunteers and medical reserve teams help nursing staff administer doses. They also greet and help patients, sanitize and organize supplies, and perform temperature checks.

“We have vaccinated over 2000 people already. We don’t have to pause any of our other programs," said Liberty Best, TriCounty Health Department public information officer.

“These extra hands on deck that are able to give vaccines are absolutely, we wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

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In Cedar City, nursing students from Southern Utah University are pitching in to help the Southwest Utah Public Health Department.

Bailey Coombs from Ely, Nevada is a second-year nursing student.

“It’s historical.”

Coombs is getting her clinical hours in for graduation - something she couldn’t do when the pandemic hit.

“I was learning a lot of my skills, my hands on skills that are going to be really important. I was learning them in my kitchen.”

Months later, Coombs says she’s glad to give back in a big way.

“To say that I was able to be a part of it especially as a student is really special, it’s a big, huge learning experience.”