Tucson’s energetic, retired medical volunteers crucial to allotting COVID-19 vaccine – Arizona Every day Star


To give a vaccine, volunteers need to be licensed to do so, but helpers of all kinds are needed including former medical workers whose licenses have expired.

“That knowledge base that someone has is clearly still there and they can play a different role in what’s going on,” he said. “This operation will only get larger as the months go on. We’re always looking for anyone who is interested in helping.”

Pharmacist Keith Boesen, former director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, prepares a syringe for Tucson Medical Center’s drive-thru vaccination program.

“Pure thankfulness” replaces nervousness

Pima County will be expanding its vaccination efforts in the weeks ahead, as it moves late next week into the next phase, 1B, which will first include older adults, ages 75 and up, who live at home, as well as law enforcement and firefighters, and teachers and child-care workers. The second part of that phase will include essential service and critical industry workers as well as vulnerable adults who live in congregate settings.

Staffing plans and new locations for vaccines are still being sorted out, said Cecilia Nguyen, volunteer coordinator with the county’s emergency operations center, but the county is constantly looking for volunteers to help.

Waits had recently retired from her job as a registered nurse when the pandemic started. She hadn’t heard of the medical volunteer corps before, and was referred to the organization after she called the health department here.



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