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Volunteers in demand to help with mass vaccinations at Alamodome

Metro Health stressed there's a big need for volunteers certified to administer vaccines.

SAN ANTONIO — Community volunteers are among the hundreds of people taking part in mass-vaccination efforts at the Alamodome as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. 

More than 55,000 people have been vaccinated in Bexar County so far, according to the state’s website. But Mayor Ron Nirenberg insists the state data is behind, and the actual number is even higher.

About 1,500 people are being vaccinated daily at the Alamodome, after that operation kicked off this week. Metro Health has about 100 volunteers each day assisting with the vaccination process.

These are medical and non-medical roles that entail everything from directing traffic, answering patients’ questions, sanitization and administering the vaccine.

“We have had a tremendous outpour from the community wanting to sign up,” said Evelyn Garza, Metro Health’s management analyst and volunteer coordinator.

The volunteers are tasked with helping city employees with vaccination efforts inside and outside of the Alamodome.  

“Medical would be vaccinators, individuals drawing up the vaccine, running it back and forth to the table, observing individuals after they receive the vaccine to make sure they have no reaction,” Garza said. “We have greeters, we have line control, we have individuals sanitizing.”

Those who sign up are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine themselves, which Garza said is a big incentive for many interested in applying to volunteer.

“I do have a lot of individuals that do fall into the Tier 1B category, but since the vaccine schedules filled up rather quickly, they’re wanting to come in so they can get their vaccine as well. (Additionally), we do have individuals that don’t fall into the 1B category, but because they are volunteering, they are eligible to receive their vaccine,” Garza said.

Judy Childress and her husband, Larry, are in their 70s. The couple drove up from Stockdale to get vaccinated, and didn’t even have to leave their car to receive the shot.

“Every person that we were in contact with as we went through the line were just very friendly and very helpful,” Judy Childress said. “We had much anxiousness about trying to get the vaccine, wanting to get it, and so when we were able to have it put into our arm, it was just a relief for me.”

Applicants to volunteer must be at least 18 years old, among other requirements. You can sign up online at texasdisastervolunteerregistry.org.