One day each week, Curt Lindberg, Waitsfield, heads to Barre for an eight-hour shift as a volunteer at one of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Lindberg is part of the state’s volunteer medical reserve corps, which was created last spring. He is a semi-retired health care consultant and executive who moved to Waitsfield with his wife Claire in 2018.
While at the clinic, Lindberg and other volunteers help people with the initial health screening when they arrive and help them fill out forms, provide hand sanitizer and ask further screening questions.
Volunteers check people into the system and they are directed from station to station.
“They are escorted into the vaccination area, given the vaccine and can ask questions. Then they’re asked to wait 15 minutes in a separate area where they’re monitored to make sure there is no immediate allergic reaction,” Lindberg said.
If people are getting their first dose, they make the appointment for their second dose after they are monitored.
Lindberg said that there are about 25 people working in Barre including people from the state’s medical reserve corps, the health department and other state employees. He is impressed by how efficiently the state’s vaccine roll out is going.
“One of the first things that struck me after my first day as a volunteer was the complexity and magnitude of this effort. There are 25 people working to vaccinate 150 people, the state is scheduling the volunteers, health department staff, other state personnel. It’s incredibly complex. And simply drawing up the vaccine into the syringes is detailed. They’re keeping track of doses very carefully,” he said.
“Towards the end of the day, they make calculations such as should we open the last vial. There are six doses per vial and if they’re not going to be used, they figure out where to transport them so they will be used,” Lindberg noted.
While COVID-19 protocols are followed very diligently at the clinic, people are relieved and thankful, even those who are a little anxious.
“The health department has created a calm, pleasant and caring environment. The second time I went they’d started piping in soothing classical music. The last time I went Emily von Trapp gave me several bouquets of tulips to put out,” he said.
“And then people are happy when they’re back for their second shot,” he added.