NAPA, Calif. - One Bay Area county is putting out the call for retired nurses, doctors, dentists and pharmacists to help administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
In a proactive effort to speed up the process, Napa County is asking for medical professionals to help when the vaccine becomes more widely available.
"It's part of reaching that outcome we all want to see...getting our community vaccinated as quickly as possible," said Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza.
So far, Napa County has received 6,300 vaccine doses from the state, about half of which have been administered to the highest priority groups.
"Right now in Tier 1A, it's 11,000 people that we're trying to vaccinate. You know most county governments are not structured...they don't have the infrastructure from a people perspective to vaccinate a community at that scale," said Pedroza.
According to the latest numbers from the state, 28% of the COVID-19 vaccine doses that have shipped have been given to people in California.
That breaks down to 459,000 doses administered from the 1,600,000 that have shipped.
The chair of Chapman University's School of Pharmacy, Dr. Jeff Goad, is also the past president of the California Pharmacist Association.
He says once the government gives clearance, pharmacists from roughly 7,000 pharmacies will help administer the 2-dose series, in what he calls likely the largest vaccine operation in history.
"In the context of the sheer scale of the number of vaccines we have to give with vaccine confidence, we've got our work cut out for us," said Goad.
Theresa Alabado of South San Francisco is one of those hoping to answer the call for help.
The registered nurse who recently retired from UCSF with more than two decades of nursing experience is willing to drive to Napa if it means she could save a life.
"It could be your mother, your father, your brother, sister, family friend. One life saving, it's so worth it," said Alabado.
Napa County doesn't have a timeline for when the volunteers would be needed, but says they will be trained and there is no cap on the amount of help needed.
They referred those interested in volunteering to the following website: https://www.countyofnapa.org/910/Medical-Reserve-Corps