LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As more drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinics get up and running, the need for volunteers to help is growing. Retired medical professionals are signing up to help and are willing to do any work needed to further the cause.
At Broadbent Arena, the Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness drive-thru clinic is helping the first tier of patients get their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and doctors, nurses and pharmacists are among those volunteering. But giving shot, isn’t the only need there.
Dr. William Renda is working four hour shifts wherever he’s needed. You may be surprised to know, the retired orthopedic surgeon and a lot of other former medical professionals are the people keeping watch over patients in the parking lot.
“The group I’ve met out here,” Dr. Renda said, “is really a fascinating group of folks.”
They’re directing people pre and post vaccination and making sure they are ok immediately after getting the shot. Dr. Renda said he’s got a lot of time on his hands, so why not?
“It’s not a hard job, it’s fun and you meet a lot of really interesting people.”
Because he still works part-time at a local hospital, Dr. Renda has already been vaccinated. But for many volunteers, the ability to get the vaccine is reason to sign up.
“Yes, I do want to get the vaccine,” said Brian Fingerson, a retired pharmacist, “however I would be in Group 1B anyway because I’m 70 years old, and this is just a way to maybe get it a week or so earlier.”
Fingerson found out about becoming a volunteer in the observation area through the Louisville Metro Medical Reserve Corps. His wife, Lavonne, is also volunteering for the vaccine clinic and for a vaccine that they believe is safe and effective.
“I sure hope everybody who is eligible gets it as soon as they have it available,” Fingerson said.
As other drive-thru sites are newly opening at places like Louisville’s Robley Rex VA Medical Center, the need for volunteers will grow.
“To help out with the vaccination clinics, we are still welcoming those we’ve reached out to and employees that have retired,” said Stephen Black, the VA medical director.
While the VA is just starting to get volunteers together, if you’d like to help out you can fill out an application at Louisville Metro Health.