OKMRC seeks volunteers for statewide COVID-19 vaccination distribution

Darla Shelden, The City Sentinel 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is seeking medical and non-medical volunteers to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts at more than 50 points of vaccine dispensing (PODs) locations statewide.

“This is a huge, unprecedented effort to vaccinate the majority of our population of nearly 4 million Oklahomans,” said Lezlie Carter, state coordinator for the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. “We need as much help as we can get from our community to make it possible.”

“When you become a volunteer with the OKMRC, you join hundreds of other citizens involved in the safety, security, health, and well-being in their communities who are ready to make a difference when help is needed most.”

Major emergencies and disasters involving injury or disease to large numbers of people can overwhelm full-time emergency response personnel.

 Volunteers can provide an important “surge” capacity and supplement medical and health personnel shortages. The OKMRC (https://www.okmrc.org/) helps fill these gaps with volunteers who’ve been organized, trained, and assigned to assist where their expertise is best applied.
Any Oklahoma resident or individual employed in Oklahoma can apply to be part of the OKMRC. Many members have medical training, but others have no special training prior to joining.
Possible roles for volunteers include: Vaccinator, Form Review, Registration,Traffic Control, Runners, assisting the elderly, sanitizing, and other duties as needed. 

Background checks are conducted on all volunteer applications. 

Last week, OKMRC volunteers were requested to support vaccination efforts in 52 Oklahoma counties.
Oklahoma City equine veterinarian Clayton McCook (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=224351692564305 ) first volunteered with OKMRC during the Moore tornado in 2013.

“When they started asking for volunteers for the vaccine clinic it seemed like a perfect time to give some of my time to MRC,” McCook said on Facebook. “It was really emotional seeing that first shot. I volunteered at a drive through clinic and I heard a nurse say, ‘it’s hope in a vial,’ and I think that’s really true. “To just be a tiny little part of getting those shots in arms has been a lot more emotional than I expected,” McCook added. “It’s just a monumental task, I don’t think the public has any idea just how difficult this is.

“It’s really been great to get an outsider’s view of public health,” he said.
McCook referred to the nurses and administrators at OKC-County Health Department as having “servant’s hearts.”

“I know we have a long way to go, but just to see how cheerful and grateful everybody is has been really encouraging to me,” McCook said.

For more information, or to apply, visitOKMRC.org . To learn more about COVID-19 and vaccination efforts in Oklahoma, visit Oklahoma.gov/COVID19 .