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TheBurlington County Board of County Commissioners is putting out the call forlicensed or certified health care workers to help with the County’s vaccinationprogram.
“Thearrival of the first COVID-19 vaccines provides a fantastic weapon for ourfight against the disease, but we have a big job in front of us to vaccinatehundreds of thousands of Burlington County residents,” said Dr. Herb Conaway,the director of the Burlington County Department of Health and the chair of theCounty’s COVID-19 Task Force. “That’s why we’re looking for retired or inactivehealth care workers with active licenses to join our Medical Reserves Corps.Their help is going to be critical for the delivery of these vaccines,especially when we expand eligibility to the general public.”
TheMedical Reserves Corps is a group of more than 600 health care professionalsand volunteers who live or work in the county. They train with the BurlingtonCounty Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management to prepare forhealth emergencies.
Thegroup’s volunteers have already been important to the County’s COVID-19response, particularly its testing program. To date more than 30,000 peoplehave been tested through the program.
Membersof the MRC have also assisted with the Health Department’s contact tracingprogram, flu shot clinics and the County’s monthly food distribution events.More recently, they have also helped with the County’s initial COVID-19vaccinations.
FromMarch through October the entire Corps had volunteered over 7,800 hours inservice to county residents.
“Sincethe very start of the pandemic, our Medical Reserve Corps have been on thepandemic front lines of our COVID-19 response with our Health Department,hospital employees and first responders,” said Commissioner Dan O’Connell, theBoard’s liaison to the Department of Health. “When the call went out, ourvolunteers stepped forward and have been willing to help in any capacity. Theyhave been an integral part of our response and we will be depending on themagain during this next phase. We can’t thank them enough for their willingnessto step up and help us safeguard public health.”
Burlington County began vaccinating EMS workers and othereligible frontline health care employees last month at the BurlingtonCounty Emergency Services Training Center in Westampton and is now alsovaccinating police, firefighters and other first responders. Officialsalso expect a planned vaccination mega-site at the Moorestown Mall will beready to open soon.
The Mall site is intended to be a regional vaccination centerand will be operated seven-days a week through a partnership between BurlingtonCounty, Virtua Health and the New Jersey Department of Health and the NewJersey Office of Emergency Management.
When the Mall site opens, the County plans to shift to operatingmobile vaccination clinics in locations throughout the county to vaccinatepopulations unable to travel to the mega-site.
Burlington County’s Medical Reserve Corps will be called on toassist at both the mega-site and future mobile clinics.
The County is seeking licensed certified health care workers,both practicing or retired, as well as community volunteers such asinterpreters and social workers or support staff. Under emergencyexecutive order, doctors, nurses,and other healthcare professionals who have recently retired or have allowedtheir licenses to lapse within the last five years can temporarily reactivatetheir licenses through the following link: COVID-19Retiree Re-Activation - A Call to Action (njconsumeraffairs.gov).
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with COVID vaccinations, should register with the Medical Reserve Corps at https://www.nj.gov/health/lh/njmrc/ or call 609-265-5468.