SAN ANTONIO — Coronavirus vaccine supply may be growing, but clinics in San Antonio are finding themselves short on volunteers.
“Everybody kind of has the same attitude,” said volunteer John Fitzpatrick. “It’s really positive, everybody wants to help, and it’s just infectious.”
The 50-year-old real estate servicing director caught the volunteering bug early in the vaccination effort.
“I try to come in once a week, if I can, when they need me,” he said.
Fitzpatrick was alerted to the need for volunteers by a friend who works at WellMed.
Brittany Pratt, vice president of social responsibility with Wellmed, said they are starting to see a slight decrease in volunteers at their clinics.
“There were a lot of folks that were motivated to volunteer by the access to the vaccine,” Pratt said. “Now that supply has increased, we’ve seen a slight decrease in the number of volunteers at our sites. But I assure you we still need plenty of help.”
She said volunteers are a crucial part of making the vaccine clinics operational every day.
“It takes a team of 50 to 150 people a day, depending on how many sites (are running),” she said. “So it is a community of people who are helping to vaccinate and get us that much safer.”
People are offered an appointment for a vaccination after two full days or four half-days of volunteer work. Fitzpatrick has earned his vaccination, but he says he keeps coming back for the social aspect and to be a part of the historic moment.
“I have a lot of paid time off and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it,” Fitzpatrick said. “I can’t really go on vacation, I can’t do all those things, but I can take that time off that I have and spend one day a week here and help folks. That’s what I want to do.”
Pratt hopes that people hear his story and are inspired to take part in the effort.
“We still need help," Pratt said. "We’re not quite through the thick of it just yet and I hope that you’ll consider joining us and being part of our volunteer family."
Anyone interested in volunteering at one of WellMed's Vaccination clinics can do so here.