Medical Volunteers Needed in Vaccine Clinics
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- With back to school vaccination clinics about to start, Mesa County health officials are continuing to make an effort to recruit medical volunteers to help improve treatment centers.
Cases of pertussis, also known as the whopping cough, have been on the rise in Mesa County over the last five years. Officials say it is particularly dangerous for infants and very young children.
According to experts, it's hard to tell why there has been an increase, but so far, the county has already seen 10 cases this year compared to six in 2011.
“The increase really serves as a good reminder that pertussis is very contagious,” said Karen Martsolf of the Mesa County Health Department.
To battle the growing number, the health department has set up clinics for local children before they head back to school. However, they are looking for medical, licensed professionals to lend a helping hand in giving the vaccine.
"It helps to just get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can," said Stephanie Mothersell, volunteer at the clinic.
As a nurse, Mothersell has been vaccinating folks for years, and says she jumped at the opportunity to volunteer the second she heard about it. “I just think it would be horrible to lose a child to an illness that could have been prevented,” said Mothersell.
Health officials say this preventative strategy is extremely easy. "These clinics really are a convenient way to do that,” said Martsolf. “They can come in, quickly get not only the Tdap but the other back to school vaccinations as well."
The clinic also offers other vaccines like MMR and chickenpox. Health experts say it's important for adults to receive the vaccination as well, because they too can spread the pertussis disease.
If you’re interested in helping out the clinic, the Mesa County Health Department can be reached at 683-6619.
The clinics are scheduled for Aug. 14 and 15 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 510 29 1/2 Road in Grand Junction.