GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County health leaders have requested more than $157,000 to hire additional and part-time staff members to relieve a system that is stretched thin as vaccination efforts ramp up.
At Thursday’s Guilford County Commissioners meeting, Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann proposed the additional funds to help with vaccine distribution.
Dr. Vann explained that there has been a shortage of staff members at some sites.
“We always need extra staff and more support,” she said. “Right now, we have our team members and volunteers in different departments…We are bringing different staff as hourly staff to work the clinics. But we know that the clinics are going to grow.”
The additional $157,293 would be split up among a variety of efforts the county wants to improve.
Those include investing in storage facilities for the doses, medical supplies and additional advertising in hard hit communities with a large amount going to staffing of facilities.
Operating a vaccination site requires more than 100 workers who can sign people in, direct them where to go, administer the vaccine, mix the doses and help in other areas. Even to take people to and from their vehicles.
The additional help would also free up nurses who have spent the past two months juggling vaccinated people and their other duties.
“What we’ve done is have them serving in the clinics, and then some of those mandating services are falling,” one health leader said.
The funds would only be used for the purpose specified in the request.
The additional staff would also only be hired for the remainder of the time vaccinations are being administered or until the funds run out. Whichever comes first.