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Volunteers step up to help vaccinate frontline workers

Posted at 12:02 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 00:03:00-05

Hundreds of people training to be doctors and nurses are stepping up to help with vaccination efforts. Their work will let hospital staff keep up with their regular duties, caring for COVID-19 patients.

Sophia Joseph and Joey Lenkey are two of those volunteers. They're second-year med students at IU who both felt compelled to help vaccinate front line workers.

"My mother's a nurse and she got COVID," Lenkey said. "She's still kind of recovering, sleeping all the time. My dad ended up in the ER for three or four days."

"My mom, she works in the hospital and she's actually been working in the COVID unit," Joseph said.

Joseph said her mom has done a lot to avoid exposing her family to the virus, changing their whole family's routine.

"Just little things like sleeping in a different room to make sure we're not sharing germs," Joseph said. "I have a little brother. He's actually in elementary school. He's been living at my grandparents' [house] so he can avoid exposure to my mom."

Lenkey said his parents getting COVID-19 has impacted his family.

"It kind of rocked our family a little bit. I have other siblings that are nurses, so really, it kind of hit home for me. That's definitely why I want to be part of vaccinating people today and then here on out," Lenkey said.

For those skeptical of getting the vaccine when it's made widely available, Joseph and Lenkey said you should follow the lead of all the frontline workers who are getting it, those who've seen the terrible impact it has had.

"I trust those who are putting their lives on the line every day in the hospital, so if they're getting it, I'm going to get it and they should too," Lenkey said.

"I think that seeing healthcare workers getting it now is proof that we should all join in and get the vaccine if we have to opportunity to," Joseph said.