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Local vaccine site volunteers eligible for doses themselves

Volunteer Kathy Jones says she’s helping out because of what she saw COVID-19 do to patients...
Volunteer Kathy Jones says she’s helping out because of what she saw COVID-19 do to patients and their families while she worked at Advent Health.(Courtesy Kathy Jones)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 7:24 PM CST
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Bell County is offering those who volunteer to work at one of the county’s three vaccination sites a shot of their own, even if they don’t fall into the 1A or 1B groups, as long as they work at least two shifts.

Bell County spokesman James Stafford says by volunteering and being directly involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations, residents become eligible for vaccination themselves.

County EMS Medical Director Taylor Ratcliff says the county has volunteers with many different backgrounds.

“We’re drawing from people that have professional licenses or certifications so our doctors, nurses, advanced practice providers. EMS is very capable of doing this, we’re utilizing them as well they do this as part of their normal daily care,” Ratcliff said.

He says even nursing students are administering shots.

“I know people can be like ‘whoa students that’s kind of scary,’ but they’re all under the watchful eye of a trained instructor everybody that comes in, we make sure we watch them give that first shot and make sure they have the right technique its very safe,” he said.

At the Bell County Expo Center where hundreds of residents are getting their second COVID-19 vaccine doses, there are 37 volunteers at any given time.

Positions range from traffic control, to temperature checkers to those actually giving the shots.

Volunteers work in two shifts and each is four hours long.

During each shift, 10 of the 37 volunteers are injecting vaccine.

Stafford says more than 900 residents have been vaccinated there in each of the last two days the site was open.

Officials say they are grateful for the volunteers helping things run smoothly.

Volunteer Kathy Jones says she’s helping out because of what she saw COVID-19 do to patients and their families while she worked at Advent Health.

Jones retired in 2020 after 43 years of nursing at Advent.

She says she is volunteering in hopes the vaccine will mean fewer people filling up hospital beds.

“I want to get out as much vaccine as we can get out so we can have this county and all of Texas all of the nation be vaccinated and be able to get back to some type of normal,” Jones said.

She even signed up to volunteer on her birthday, Feb. 3.

“I received a blessing so my blessing is to bless others and that’s part of what I went into nursing for and I’m glad to do that I’m so glad to be where I am today,” Jones said.

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