Virginia asks for volunteers to help administer COVID-19 vaccines


Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(WAVY) — As Virginia works to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccine administration, the state is asking people to sign up to help.

The Virginia Medical Reserve Corps is looking for volunteers to help with vaccine coordination and administration.

Applications don’t require people to have medical training or certifications, although those who do have them should be sure to include them when applying to join the MRC. The corps needs both medical and non-medical volunteers.

Virginia currently averages about 12,000 vaccine doses given each day. Gov. Ralph Northam has blamed a lack of support from the federal government and hospitals withholding doses as part of the problem. He did say millions in needed federal aid was recently approved and on the way to help.

Some local leaders have also voiced frustration about the lack of communication on the vaccine rollout and its timeline. As of Friday evening, health districts in Hampton Roads were still in phase 1a of vaccinations, while some other localities in other regions had already moved to phase 1b.

On Thursday, Northam said vaccinating Virginians could take months, but he hopes by early to mid-summer, all Virginians who are willing will be vaccinated.

In the short-term and long-term, respectively, Virginia has set goals of 25,000 and 50,000 doses administered per day.

To do that, the state needs help.

“Eventually our goal is to get this staged by the National Guard and by contracted vaccinators who will be able to provide this service in large-scale,” Dr. Danny Avula said on Thursday during Northam’s press conference.

Click here for information on qualifications and how to register to join the MRC.

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