California’s new volunteer program allows residents to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by volunteering at vaccination sites across the state. MyTurn, a new volunteer tool, allows residents to search for clinics and vaccination sites in need of volunteers.
“In the face of challenges, Californians come together and our fight to end this pandemic is no different. Volunteers can play an especially important role in supporting our vaccination efforts by serving at a local vaccination site,” Governor Gavin Newsom in a press release Friday. “I encourage all Californians to join the My Turn – Volunteer effort in service to their community and together we can reach the light at the end of the tunnel.”
The program was started to help increase vaccination efforts across the state and especially in communities hit hardest by COVID-19, California Volunteers spokesperson Christina Valdivia told CBS News.
“There are a variety of ways Californians will be able to help the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts,” Valdivia said. “Those include on-site assistance at vaccine distribution sites and individual outreach actions that can be done from home. The My Turn system will connect vaccine distribution sites with volunteers in the area, as well as provide outreach actions to volunteers who have signed up.”
Those interested in volunteering can search on MyTurn for vaccination sites near them. Even citizens who are not medical volunteers like nurses or pharmacists can still assist by directing traffic, registering vaccine recipients, sanitizing stations, and providing language support.
Volunteers who work for at least four hours qualify as community health workers under the state guidance, making them eligible for the vaccine. Some sites require volunteers to be at least 18 years old, but rules vary by location. There is no cap on the number of non-medical volunteers to sign up for My Turn, Valdivia said, but clinics will ultimately determine how many volunteers they need.
“The quickest way to ensure the safety of Californians is by increasing our state’s vaccination abilities,” said Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. “My Turn – Volunteer will provide the volunteer resources needed to quickly vaccinate all Californians in our fight against COVID-19.”
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