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Vaccinating Underserved Communities

Oct 21, 2021 | Beth Hess

The Passaic County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) serves the Passaic County region in New Jersey. The unit’s 175 volunteers have been active in COVID-19 response since March of 2020, first assisting with testing and later with vaccinations. At the county’s vaccination mega site, 25 nursing stations provided vaccines with MRC volunteers assisting in a variety of roles including logistics, preparing supplies, and traffic flow. At smaller community sites, medical volunteers assisted with vaccination and observation.

In early May of 2021, Unit Leader Sandy Cameron started going on the road, administering vaccinations to homebound residents and at local businesses with assistance from an MRC volunteer. Staff from the health department are out in the community, providing education about vaccinations and distributing flyers. Information is also available online. People then call in to the health department to express their interest in vaccination. On Wednesdays and Fridays Sandy and an MRC volunteer go out with a two-person sheriff EMS team, providing vaccinations to anywhere from 2 to 25 homebound residents a day.

The mobile team also travels to local businesses who request on-site vaccinations. The team has also popped up at Block Parties and in evenings in town centers. Throughout August, they provided vaccinations on Fridays at a school pantry.


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