Bristol Hospital seeking volunteers to help administer covid-19 vaccine

Published on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:52
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI

@MUSZYNSKIBP

BRISTOL -- Bristol Hospital is seeking volunteers to help distribute the covid-19 vaccine in anticipation of future phases that will expand the number of people eligible to receive it.

The hospital is seeking active or retired licensed health care professionals who can help administer the vaccine, as hospital officials say the state could look to enter phase 1b as early as next week. Though Operation Warp Speed has given states the green light to vaccinate anyone 65 years of age and older, according to the state’s website, Connecticut’s phase 1b would open up the vaccine availability to those 75 and older, front line essential workers and “individuals and staff in congregate settings.”

Bristol Hospital officials say they want to continue to be a part of the vaccine distribution as future phases roll out. Currently, through its vaccine clinic, the hospital has been administering anywhere between 190 and 250 vaccine doses a day. To bump those numbers up, hospital officials say they need help from the medical community.

Those who are being sought to volunteer include the following: physicians, physician assistants, nurse midwives, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, advanced practice nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists, dentists, dental hygienists with training to administer anesthesia, veterinarians, advanced emergency medical technicians, emergency medical technicians with intramuscular epinephrine administration training and paramedics.

“We want to be able to process as many people as we can,” said Albert Peguero, manager of emergency preparedness at Bristol Health.

As of Wednesday, the hospital had administered about 3,600 doses of the covid-19 vaccine.

Jeannie Robbins, director of Bristol Health’s Cancer Care Center and Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness, said there were a lot of retired medical workers, who have maintained their licenses, looking to help in any way with the pandemic in the spring. Although Bristol Hospital did not need to take up these offers earlier in the year, now is the time when their help can be fully utilized, Robbins said.

“We understand how important it is to vaccinate the vulnerable population,” Robbins said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Robbins at jrobbins@bristolhospital.org or 860-585-3173.

Bristol Hospital is not obligated to help with the vaccine process as future phases are rolled out, but Peguero said hospital officials want to help, knowing it is the right thing to do, and are glad to be a part of it.

“This is the only way to get that herd immunity,” he said.

Peguero added that appointments will continue to be required for Bristol Hospital’s vaccine clinic, as it wouldn’t be feasible to have long lines or not constitute doses in advance. Thus far, by following this process, the hospital has had nearly “zero waste” of the vaccine, he said.

“We want to continue that,” Peguero said.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or jmuszynski@bristolpress.com.



Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:52. Updated: Wednesday, 13 January 2021 15:55.