Vaccine volunteers needed in San Diego as eligibility expands

Vaccine volunteers
Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 18:53:46-04

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - The vaccine sites around San Diego County rely heavily on volunteers, and the need for volunteers is increasing as doses increase and eligibility expands.

Myron Soyangco is Sharp South Bay’s Vaccination Clinic Manager and said earlier in the year, there was high interest in volunteering at his vaccine site in Chula Vista. Sharp offers a vaccine for any person who completes three volunteer shifts, regardless of eligibility.

“When that offer was made obviously we got a very positive response through the community, particularly those whose tiers weren’t open up yet at the time. It was a way for them to get their vaccine,” said Soyangco.

He said they’re bracing for fewer volunteers stepping forward in the coming weeks for many reasons.

“It’s not just the tiers opening. We also know the weather is warming, the city is opening up. Volunteering here may not be the flashiest thing to be able to do but we’re hoping the community will continue to respond in such a positive way to help their own community out alongside us,” he said.

Sharp’s South Bay site vaccinates between 2,000 and 4,000 people per day, with volunteers making up 85% of the staff at a time.

Volunteers with medical backgrounds are needed to help administer the doses, but non-medical volunteers are also needed for tasks like checking people in and directing traffic. To sign up to volunteer at one of the Sharp HealthCare sites, click here.

“It’s a very huge portion and we really can’t run the clinic without our volunteers,” said Soyangco.

Standing in front of a crowd of people waving pompoms at newly vaccinated people, he added that many who volunteer end up returning for more than three shifts, even after they’re vaccinated, because of how much fun they have. With the need for volunteers remaining high through the next few months, he hopes others will consider stepping up to make a difference.

“It has been absolutely powerful. We’ve all been in this for a year now and when you think about it, this is the first ray of hope we are able to offer, it is the light at the end of the tunnel that we are still going through. To be able to be part of that history and knowing that we are in San Diego for San Diego is absolutely rewarding,” said Soyangco.