Across the U.S., millions of shots of the three COVID-19 vaccines are going into arms each day even as the disease continues to spread, with an alarming 68,000 new cases recorded on Wednesday. At this stage in the pandemic, there’s a disparity at play: A jarring number of new daily infections signals that the pandemic is far from over, but new hope has emerged in the form of the vaccines’ breakneck distribution.
As medical experts have warned in recent days, the virus will continue to spread (and, potentially, new variants will continue to emerge) until enough people are vaccinated that the U.S. reaches herd immunity, which means time is of the essence. Because of this, you might be considering doing your part to help by volunteering in your state’s vaccination efforts. The good news is, you don’t need medical expertise or formal training to help. If you’d like to aid in this the gargantuan national effort, there are many groups and organizations that can put you to work in various capacities. Here’s more on how you can get involved.
Work with national organizations
Even without a medical background, you can still help volunteer at vaccination sites in various capacities. Healthcare workers are working through a deluge of people eager for a vaccine and a return to normalcy, which means there’s a need for other volunteers to handle parking control, data entry, general logistics, and whatever other needs might arise.
Organizations such as Vaccine Fairy will give you an assignment to help book vaccine appointments for people in need. Additionally, Vaccine Hunter will direct you to a series of Facebook pages run by volunteers who’ve been working to get people vaccinated in their local areas. Chances are, there’s a page serving yours.
Vaccine Hunter is a pretty exhaustive resource, as it aggregates all manner of organizations across the country that accept volunteers. The onus is on you to get in touch with a resource that serves your community, but it will pay off once you join the ranks of people aiding this herculean effort.
Find “vaccine angel” orgs on social media
Because there are so many communities that are medically underserved, and because government websites are notoriously fragile and wont to completely shut down when overwhelmed with traffic, volunteers have been serving the cause as vaccine angels. These are volunteers who make appointments for people who might encounter issues booking their own vaccinations. Angels schedule appointments, arrange travel, and basically do whatever needs to be done in order to facilitate vaccinations for the disadvantaged. It’s as noble as causes get here in the hellscape of 2021.
Once again, the most exhaustive aggregator of vaccine angel opportunities is Vaccine Hunter, which compiles groups into a list organized by state and sometimes by city and municipality. You can also find groups in your local area by simply Googling “vaccine angel Facebook groups.” Such groups have cropped up in California, Ohio, western Michigan, and many other places.
There are also more formal medical organizations in various states calling for volunteers, in addition to state governments that may still be looking for administrative and logistical support. As always, be proactive and seek these organizations out, as winning the race to distribute vaccines equitably is our quickest way out of this mess we’re all in.