How To Become a Vaccine Volunteer

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, the state of California needs volunteers to help with vaccine distribution. If you are over the age of 18 and want to help, there are many different organizations that you can support either in person or from a distance. And…if you are eagerly awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine but not yet eligible, volunteering in-person provides an opportunity to not only support your community but also get the vaccine yourself. By volunteering, you become a qualified frontline worker and therefore eligible to receive the vaccine as you give your time to helping your local community. So, step up, mask up and help crush COVID by volunteering. 

Here’s what you need to know before you start searching for volunteer opportunities:

  • Details vary widely from county to county and depending on sites most volunteer shifts are between  3 to 8 hours. First-time volunteers are often vaccinated during their first shift.
  • Volunteers may only be vaccinated if there is enough supply, so volunteering is not a guarantee for receiving the vaccine.
  • Most vaccine locations are looking for two types of volunteers: medical or clinical and non-medical or non-clinical. Medical/clinical volunteers administer the vaccine and non-medical/non-clinical volunteers support staff to assist with site set-up and tear down, traffic monitoring, check-in and appointment verification.
  • Expect the on-boarding process to take 1-2 weeks, background and medical screens are often required.
  • Don’t get discouraged if volunteer opportunities are currently closed. New opportunities will arise as more vaccine supply becomes available. Check your local area websites regularly. Also, don’t forget to reach out and see if you can be added to a waitlist in case a volunteer shift becomes available at the last minute. 

Some places you can volunteer:

Alameda County – FEMA needs to hire 80 emergency management specialists for the Oakland Coliseum mass vaccination site. Those who are hired will receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To review and apply, visit USAJOBS.gov. In the search box, type “FEMA Local Hire.” In the location box, type “California.”

California Northstate University – Non-Clinical Volunteer who can assist with check-in, observing patients after they receive the vaccine, helping patients sign up for post-vaccination monitoring, answering general questions, wayfinding, restocking supplies, and other operational duties.

Contra Costa County – Medical and non-medical

Marin County – Medical volunteers

Sacramento Yolo County – Volunteers are recommended to complete the “Medical Points of Dispensing (MPOD)” course here. Upon completion of the class, individuals will be given the option to submit a volunteer application to Yolo County. For questions about volunteering, contact the Yolo County volunteer coordinator at volunteer.coordinator@yolocounty.org 

Sac City Unified Vaccination Clinic Volunteer – If you are interested in volunteering to be part of the Vaccination Volunteer Team, please sign up here by completing this brief SurveyMonkey questionnaire.

San Francisco – Contact the Emergency Volunteer Center at DHR-EVC@sfgov.org or (415) 557-4979.

Santa Clara – Non-medical volunteer. Santa Clara says there “currently is not a need for large amounts of additional volunteers at this time,” but notes that it does have a need “for volunteers who can assist with additional languages and cultural competency, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Korean, Hindi, and Japanese among others.”

San Mateo – San Mateo County is currently seeking volunteers with a medical license to aid its vaccination efforts.

Vaccinate CA – Sign up to volunteer with VaccinateCA here.

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