Churches and volunteers can help with COVID-19 vaccination effort
COVID-19 vaccinations are now available in Alabama. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is currently looking to partner with North Alabama United Methodist Churches and volunteers to help get vaccines to rural and underserved communities.
Currently, Alabama is in Phase 1b of its COVID‐19 Vaccination Allocation Plan, which means the vaccine is currently available to people 75 years old or older, frontline essential workers and first responders (law enforcement and firefighters).
There are two opportunities for churches to be a part of this partnership: 1.) Vaccination Events held at local churches and 2.) trained medical personnel and other volunteers assisting local Health Departments.
If you or your congregation are interested in this opportunity please read the information below to understand the requirements. If you can meet the requirements please contact Director of Connectional Ministries Adlene Kufarimai at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 226-7954 or Rev. Rachel Gonia at email@example.com.
Vaccination EventsChurches who are willing to host a vaccination event must be able to provide the staffing, space and equipment necessary, as well as, help advertise within their local community. Details of each of these areas are below.
- 8-11 people vaccination team to be trained through UAB. Those listed below with an asterisk must be medical personnel. (They could be retired MDs, LPNs, RNs, veterinarians and/or pharmacists.) One person must be BCLS certified or you should arrange to have the local EMS/Fire Department present. There must be a Physician as part of the team to order the vaccine. This team includes the following:
- Team Leader
- Data Entry person (This can be on-site or done within 24 hours under the direction of the physician who has ordered the vaccine.)
- Medication Dispenser*
- 3 Nurses* (one to oversee vaccinations and one to oversee the observation area with the third serving as a floater)
- 1-4 Vaccine injectors*
- Others who may be included on a vaccination event team, particularly if the medical team is not from the local church include the following:
- Greeters who screen persons at the door.
- Hosts who assist and answer questions pertaining to building and logistics.
- Scheduler who sets vaccine appointments ahead of time.
A church hosting a vaccination event needs to provide a large, well-ventilated space such as a gymnasium or fellowship hall which allows for social distancing. This space needs to be large enough to hold at least four “stations” (Greeting area, Medicine Prep area, Administration area and Post-Vaccination Observation area).
The event space needs to have the following:
Materials / Medical Supplies
- At least six tables and adequate chairs for workers and those being vaccinated.
- Pens and printed forms (if not entering in a computer at the time of vaccination).
- Internet access would be required if the data is being entered at the time of vaccination.
- A refrigerator (36-46 degrees F) for vaccine storage.
- Trash cans for disposal for PPE
- Adequate PPE
- Face masks (does not have to be N95)
- Eye protection (glasses or face shields)
- Gauze and band-aids
- First aid kit
- An infrared thermometer (if screening at door)
- Additionally, there will need to be medical supplies for a severe reaction if EMS is not present such as Benadryl and injectable epinephrine (EpiPen) which need to be administered by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
Host churches will also be willing to
- Help advertise within the local community possibly including telephone calls
- Help coordinate the reservations for vaccinations
Overall, the process for a church to host a vaccination event would include
- Identify the vaccination team leader and other personnel and get them trained by UAB.
- Set a date for the vaccination event.
- Advertise to the local community.
- Schedule appointments for vaccines.
- Host the vaccination day.
- Plan for a second vaccination day to give the second round of shots to those who participated in the initial event.
Trained medical personnel and other volunteers
A second way North Alabama United Methodists can be a part of this effort is for trained medical personal and potentially other volunteers to volunteer to be a part of a vaccine team at a local church or to assist local Health Departments in scheduling and administering vaccines.
If you or your congregation can meet the requirements and are interested in this opportunity please contact Director of Connectional Ministries Adlene Kufarimai at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 226-7954 or Rev. Rachel Gonia at email@example.com.