SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – During this year’s National Volunteer Week, county health departments are celebrating the volunteers who keep their COVID-19 vaccination clinics running.
Roughly 150 people have volunteered their time at the Clark County Combined Health District’s vaccination clinic at the Upper Valley Mall, according to Sandy Miller, Medical Reserve Corps coordinator for Clark County.
“I felt I had the time and the knowledge necessary, and I felt like I could do something to help,” said Dr. John Dobson, one of the volunteers.
Dr. Dobson retired a year ago after more than three decades as an orthopedic surgeon. Trading in scalpels for needles, he is now vaccinating his fellow Clark County community members.
“It’s been fun,” Dr. Dobson said. “I find the people that are coming in to be vaccinated are very positive and happy to be here.”
At the Clark County Combined Health District’s clinic, volunteers make up as much as two-thirds of the people operating the site, Miller said. They come from medical and non-medical backgrounds and go through extensive training to volunteer, she added.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” said Miller, who also serves as nursing supervisor for the health department in Clark County. “It would be impossible. We wouldn’t be able to have the manpower, the resources.”
In recent days, Clark County health officials have been forced to scale down the size of their clinic due to declining interest in the vaccine, Miller said.
Volunteers like Dr. Dobson want to be busy again and hope they eventually will be.
“I feel sad for the population who is not getting vaccinated,” he said. “I’m happy for those who have because they’re protected. But the rest of the population who doesn’t get vaccinated will still have the same risks.”
The Clark County Combined Health District is still accepting applications for new volunteers. For more information, click here.