COVID vaccination volunteers are a big help at immunization sites

Alonzo Osche

HOUSTON — Cy-Fair ISD teacher Kimberly Harrell got her shot at a shot on Tuesday outside the Berry Center in Cypress.

“I’m relieved,” Harrell said. “I think I’ll feel a little bit more comfortable with going to work.”

Harris County Public Health administers the COVID-19 vaccine to about 1,500 people per day at the Berry Center site alone.

“Right now, I’m actually giving the immunization,” said volunteer Douglas Brown.

A lot of what happened is thanks to a healthy dose of volunteers like Brown.

“Most everybody is so appreciative of everybody that’s out here,” Brown said.

Brown, who retired from public education, currently works as a certified EMT with the National Park Service. But he offers his time and expertise to HCPH free of charge.

“There’s a number of folks that take the day off or take the afternoon off that come out here to volunteer,” Brown said. “That come out here on Saturday.”

Brown works though the Harris County Medical Reserve Corps. That’s a network of volunteers founded after 9/11 to help during emergency situations, including the pandemic.

Many of the volunteers have medical backgrounds, although it’s not required. However, anyone giving actual immunizations is adequately qualified. They might be volunteer doctors, nurses or EMTs like Brown.

Brown said the biggest payoff comes from those on the receiving end.

“I think the special thing is just the number of folks that are so happy, so relieved that they’re finally getting a vaccine in their arm,” Brown said.

More info on the Harris County Medical Reserve Corps:

Resources for Medical Professionals in Harris County to volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to assist the community with Epidemiological surveying, COVID-19 testing, and specimen sample collection. Additional volunteer opportunities for Harris County residents and Non-Profit Organizations are also detailed.

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