Effingham College & Career Academy students helping with COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Effingham College & Career Academy students helping with COVID-19 vaccine distribution
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The vaccine rollout hasn’t been as smooth as some hoped for, but now healthcare providers are working to adjust.

The Effingham County Health Department called in some help to make sure they could serve as many people as possible. If you go to the Effingham County Health Department for a COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll be greeted by an Effingham College and Career Academy student.

“It’s great to have the extra set of hands and eyes and feet to help folks get in to the building and get the paperwork complete,” Effingham County Nurse Manager Cindy Grovenstein said.

Effingham’s health department has given more than 700 vaccinations in about 15 days, but it’s more work than just a shot. That’s why they asked for help from ECCA’s health science students. Their school year has been much different than normal, but this offered something new.

“In the past we’ve had a lot of opportunity to send students out and it really came to a drastic halt this year and so this opening up for us has been just an amazing opportunity for them to get back out and see real people,” said April Platt, director of health services for ECCA.

Students are able to register patients and help run information to the clinic freeing up staff for other tasks, speeding up the process.

“If they’re there then that takes one staff member back to the back room to help out with scheduling and other things,” Grovenstein said.

Both health department leaders and school officials say this partnership is a win-win, especially for the students.

“Oh, it’s been wonderful! I am really glad that I am kind of getting a start on getting work experience in the field since that’s what I want to do with my life. It’s been really great working with people trying to figure out and it’s really solidified the idea that I enjoy doing this,” ECCA senior Mallory Goff said.

ECCA students aren’t the only ones helping, so too are Ogeechee tech students. They say they feel like a part of the solution in this pandemic.

“Anything to make it easier on the people that are actually giving the vaccines and if I can make it go faster and we can get more out to people,” Goff said.

Health department leaders say they are monitoring their vaccine supply and schedule to ensure they have enough, but are getting regular shipments.

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