Public Health Students Volunteer at Vaccination Clinics
As the race to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible began, the Utah Health Department turned to BYU public health students to find volunteers to help with vaccine rollout. BYU students were quick to respond to the call. For them, volunteering has been a meaningful opportunity personally and professionally.
One of these volunteers, Parker Carlquist, is studying Health Science and volunteering at the vaccination clinic at Provo High School. Carlquist explained that he was eager to take the opportunity to volunteer because he is passionate about helping people get the vaccine. He said, “It’s a great way to not only get involved but to see public health in action and support a cause that I think is really important.” It has been meaningful for him to have the opportunity to answer questions, clarify misinformation, and ensure an efficient and smooth process.
Another volunteer, Tatyanna Newman, will be joining the BYU MPH program in Fall 2021 and is now volunteering at the Del Mar Superstation in Southern California.
Newman’s favorite part of working as a volunteer is being a witness to the excitement at the Superstation. She said, “Seeing the joy as the people come in and tell me their stories and who they are excited to see again has been so fun.” She described a couple who came in on the day of their 50th wedding anniversary and planned to go out to eat and celebrate after receiving their shots and a group of teachers who arrived together to receive their vaccination.
Newman described how meaningful it was for her to put trusting science into practice and to see other people do the same. She said, “When I went to get vaccinated for my first dose I was nervous, but putting that trust in science was meaningful for me.” She explained how she knew that the data showed that the vaccine was trustworthy and gave her the confidence that she needed to add her faith and move forward.
Carlquist also added that he hoped that by volunteering he could show that the vaccine is not something to be afraid of. He said, “Public Health professionals are not going to put out a vaccine or support a vaccine if it’s not proven to be effective and helpful.” He recommended volunteering at the vaccination clinic and getting vaccinated to everyone. He said, “I encourage people to take the small opportunities that come their way. Even those small opportunities will make a difference.”