Brian Clark, Cindi Burrito, Africa discussed on Gaydos and Chad


Vaccinated because I just feel so good doing this. I feel like it's You know, it's my way of giving back and I'd much rather get back that way, then have to be taken care of a sick person at the bedside, so feeling a little less nervous about getting the jab and the music and the conversation and okay, a couple cookies that they gave me. I did my part and I rolled up my sleeve for nurse Madonna, who did her best to talk me off the ledge. They say they're afraid of the fee the needle and then when they actually give the shot, it's like he didn't even expect anything, but they felt nothing. So just take my next question. Are you gonna hurt me? I'm not gonna let that sorry. And three weeks later, I was back for my second dose sticker. You are a big shot times to wow on knowing that I did this in memory of a true American hero made me feel even better about it. Aaron, we turn now to another vaccination site, this one shepherded by the most versatile members of the military. The National Guard, Here's NBC's Brian Clark. In the parking lot of this shopping mall in northern New Jersey. There are flags flying for furniture store. This store is adjacent to a Sears that closed down a couple of years ago. But in front of the Sears are too large white tents and those tents service the entrance to a vaccination mega site that on this may afternoons approaching 300,000 doses administered and just over four months. It's run by the New Jersey National Guard. My name's captain James your Wayne. I'm the commander of C troop, first of the one of second Cavalry Regiment. Normally, that's a reconnaissance troop focused on gathering information about an enemy. So how did they wind up here? When the vaccine distribution mission for the state came out number of sites were looked at across the state by the Department of Health Department of Emergency Management. When this site was selected. Our cavalry squadron is mostly located in northern part of the state. So about mid December, I got a phone call saying that my troop is being activated and we would handle the mission here, and I would be the officer in charge of the National Guard members on site. Those members a total of 70 carry out a wide range of tasks. It starts at the front door were Sergeant Ryan Vance works to get people set for their shot myself in about 12. Other soldiers are assigned to a group we call pre screening. S so we handle everything from checking people in at the front doors, guiding them into the registration. Q. We asked them pre screening questions to make sure they're okay and that they're ready to go get the vaccine. From there. It's on to this giant room. It was the first floor of a massive Sears staff sergeant Cindi Burrito, and her group helped make sure people get to where they need to be. My section's role is to play some Online, you know, maintaining the social distance and sending them to the appropriate stations to get vaccinated. Civilian healthcare providers administer the shot at one of more than 20 vaccination stations after their shot. It's on to the observation area under the eye of Staff Sergeant Joseph are Beta. He's the non commissioned officer in charge of that part of the room. After you get vaccinated. You either have 15 or 30 minutes of observation. If it was your first dose year, we're going to schedule you for your second. It's a shot of hope for the people getting this vaccine. But for these soldiers, the numbers quickly blur When the site first opened, it was very slow opening rolling opening, we would vaccinate, you know less than 100 a day, then add on each week. Once we hit 2400, we realized we still had a high demand for the vaccine. So the state issued new guidance where sites would work up to 4000 day and over the course of another month. We worked up that 4000 at our peak we're doing about 4300 vaccine. Today. Things have quieted down here. These mega sites were intended to surge vaccines into areas before people were able to get them in places like their own doctor's office or a pharmacy. It's kind of funny. Sometimes people walk up and they see soldiers and they're they're a little bit nervous. Or maybe, you know, maybe some of it is that they're they're nervous because I don't like needles, which would be totally understandable. But yes, sometimes people come up and they're they're just a little nervous. And you know, you get to kind of have these fun little moments of people who will walk up and say, Hey, what time's your appointment? What's your last name? What's your favorite color? And it just kind of catches them off guard. You know, you make him laugh a little, and it really brightens your day to be able to tow have a a positive interaction of the general public and just kind of makes somebody smile jobs. There is something that most people serving in the National Guard have outside of their roles here, and that requires a balance. Sergeant Vance has had a very busy stint in a little over three years in the National Guard. He's already spent most of 2019 on the deployment in Africa. He returned to the US just in time for the covert 19 pandemic to erupt. It has been crazy. I have been in the guard for just over three years, I have been activated for more than half of that time. So it's been a enormous time commitment, but it's also been a lot of fun. I have learned an incredible amount about myself about my profession about the world around me. I've.

Coming up next