Volunteers provide additional helping hands to vaccinate the metro

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The local chapter of the Medical Reserve Corps is operating out of two mass vaccination sites to get Kansas Citians vaccinated. // Image courtesy of Medical Reserve Corps Greater Kansas City

Kansas City’s Medical Reserve Corps is leading a volunteer effort to combat COVID-19 and vaccinate Kansas City. The MRC, comprised of medical and non-medical volunteers such as plastic surgeons and university faculty members, currently has 1,200 volunteers.

Volunteers have been vaccinating Kansas Citians out of sites at an old Kmart store in KCK, and a Best Buy on Parallel Parkway, with possible plans for a third site. Opening up large unused spaces like music and entertainment venues that have sat vacant for a long time has been a useful suggestion to accelerate the vaccination rollout.

Missouri has currently progressed to Tier 2 of Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, with some minor setbacks. While President Joe Biden’s promise that the U.S. will be supplied with enough vaccine for everyone by May doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will choose to be vaccinated—the continued incoming of vaccine could likely mean more vaccinations and thus more work for the volunteers administering them.

The organization is a local chapter of the national MRC, formed by the federal government in 2001 after the 9/11 attack. Sharon White-Lewis, unit section chief of the organization, says the MRC needs volunteers of all skill levels and backgrounds, not just medical professionals. Volunteers can help with a variety of tasks include conducting testing, test site screening, and contact tracing.

Interested? You can fill out the MRC’s volunteer application. Douglas County residents can find additional local opportunities to volunteer their help in vaccination at the United Way of Douglas County site.

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