‘History in the making’: Volunteers at heart of mass vaccination sites

Coronavirus

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The mass vaccination clinic at the Oregon Convention Center will close next month as efforts to protect the public against COVID-19 moves toward more local community clinics.

But the OCC couldn’t have vaccinated hundreds of thousands of Oregonians without the help of an army of volunteers.

At first, many signed up to volunteer as a way to get toward the front of the line to get a COVID vaccine shot. But now, that mass of volunteers is still going strong as they take pride in being part of the effort to end the ongoing pandemic.

More than 2,000 Oregonians and some Washington state residents have volunteered, and they’re a big reason why people are able to quickly move through the mass vaccination site.

Besides volunteers from the National Guard, there are veterans, teachers, retirees, carpenters union groups who help the four major hospital groups called All4Oregon with everything from greeters, supply help, check-ins, and assisting with getting and giving shots.

Jim Hansen, a volunteer at the convention center, said he was still helping long after getting a shot.

“It’s history in the making,” he said. “There’s so much negative with Portland, this is something that’s good.”

Volunteers had to go through background checks and training for the mass vaccination sites, and there were so many, All4Oregon had more than they could use for helping hands.

The convention center will stop giving first doses on Thursday, May 27, but second doses of the vaccines will continue through mid-June. Walk-ins are still welcomed; however, the hours are different each day. Click here for more details on hours.

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