VIDEO: meet the volunteers who are essential in vaccination against Covid-19 in Santa Maria – Health

It is worth it! This is the unanimous perception among the volunteers who work in the vaccination actions against Covid-19 in Santa Maria. Without receiving it for that reason, students and professors in the health area, retired professionals and other volunteers play essential roles for the vaccine to reach the arm of Santa Marienses. It is they who, early on vaccination days, register, organize and apply doses that can help the municipality overcome the pandemic.

According to the city, the Health Department has 260 volunteers trained to work in vaccination, according to demand. In the vaccination of elderly people over 68 years old, last Tuesday, about 100 volunteers were scattered throughout the vaccination points. Academics from five educational institutions participate: Franciscan University, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Integrated Faculty of Santa Maria (Fisma), SEG and UFSM Polytechnic College. Although the majority is young, there are also those who add experience to the team of volunteers. An example is retired nurse Rosenara Berleze Penna, 58. On Tuesday, she acted in the aspiration of doses in the UFSM drive-thru and took the experience of those who organized the immunization of Santa Maria in the H1N1 pandemic, more than 10 years ago, when she acted as coordinator in the immunization sector of the city hall.

Photo: Renan Mattos (Diary)
Rosenara Berleze Penna, retired nurse and volunteer in vaccination

– I’ve always worked for SUS. So I think I have this commitment to the community to help in this very difficult time – he says, with a smile on his face.

Also retired Ana Lúcia Lang Motta, 60, helps with the knowledge of those who worked for 15 years in the municipality’s immunization sector. Beside, from Rosenara, she acted in the drive-thru of UFSM. Retired two years ago, she says she can still learn from colleagues and doesn’t mind waking up early in the morning to get to the vaccination site early.

Photo: Renan Mattos (Diary)
Ana Lúcia Lang Motta, retired nurse and volunteer in vaccination

– These are difficult times and it is time for us to help each other. We work with a new student, academics, it is a super rich exchange – he explains.

And this exchange is a two-way street.

– They learn to work in teams, they can see larger actions. We do actions with more than a thousand vaccinated people. They have to be more agile, learn to live with the team, acting during a pandemic. All of this adds a lot to their training – explains the professor of Nursing Technician at Polytechnic College Caren da Silva Jacobi, 30, who coordinated the team of volunteers at UFSM.

Photo: Renan Mattos (Diary)
Caren da Silva Jacobi, volunteer and professor of the Nursing Technician at Colégio Politécnico

In the case of UFSM, the volunteers were selected using a form, which was sent by e-mail to students of the Nursing courses. Preferably students were called closer to the conclusion of the course. The others were directed to a database and can be called up if necessary. At UFN, the process was similar, and a WhatsApp group was created to coordinate activities. One of the members of the group is student Felipe Del Fabro, 24, a nursing student at UFN, who makes a point of participating in all possible vaccination actions.

– It comes from the profile of the Nursing student, from this desire to be contributing, helping others. We feel renewed. Get out of here with many compliments, thanks. I even played with my father, I was never so blessed. Many elderly people are vaccinated and say “God bless you”. They even bring candy, ”says Del Fabro, who served as a vaccinator at Clube Dores.

Photo: Renan Mattos (Diary)
Felipe Del Fabro, volunteer and nursing student at UFN

In addition, around 200 other civil servants participated, including health professionals and commissioned positions from the Urban Mobility, Social Development and Civil House departments, in an integrated action. Army military personnel also assist in vaccination, with logistical support for organizing and setting up tents.

For Health Secretary Guilherme Ribas, volunteering makes all the difference to the success of immunization against Covid-19. The use of volunteers is not unprecedented in campaigns of this type. Last year, for example, volunteers worked on the application of flu vaccines, even if on a smaller scale.

– The support of volunteers and educational institutions, being a university city, shows the commitment of these institutions to the population of Santa Maria. Also the support of other departments, which is essential, to be able to advance more and more in vaccination – Ribas emphasizes.

Among the volunteers, there is even international aid. Ghanaian Zaria Adams, 26, participated for the first time as a volunteer last Tuesday. She arrived in the country in 2017 to study Nursing at UFSM.

Photo: Renan Mattos (Diary)
Zaria Adams, born in Ghana, a nursing student at UFSM and a volunteer in vaccination

– I wanted to participate, because I am helping and learning too. I am very happy helping people. The pandemic hindered everyone – he says.

According to the city hall’s Vaccinometer, updated on Friday last week, 43,436 doses of vaccine were applied in the city. Not included in this account are the 4,200 vaccines applied on Tuesday and the more than 5,500 of this Thursday.

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