It’s worth it! This is the unanimous perception among volunteers working in vaccination actions against Covid-19 in Santa Maria. Without receiving for this, students and teachers in the health area, retired professionals and other volunteers play essential roles for the vaccine to reach the arm of santa-marienses. They are the ones who, from early on vaccination days, register, organize and apply the doses that can help the municipality overcome the pandemic.
According to the city, the Health Department has 260 volunteers trained to act in vaccination, according to the demand. In vaccination in elderly people over 68 years, last Tuesday, about 100 volunteers were scattered around vaccination points. Academics from five educational institutions participate: Franciscan University, Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Integrated College of Santa Maria (Fisma), SEG and Polytechnic College of UFSM. Although most are young, there are also those who add experience to the volunteer team. One example is retired nurse Rosenara Berleze Penna, 58. On Tuesday, she worked 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 pandemic of H1N1, more than 10 years ago, when she worked as coordinator in the immunization sector of the city.
– I’ve always worked for SUS. So I think I have this commitment to the community to help at this very difficult time – he says, with a smile on his face.
The retired Ana Lúcia Lang Motta, 60 years old, helps with the knowledge of those who worked for 15 years in the immunization sector of the municipality. Alongside Rosenara, she served in the ufsm drive-thru. Retired two years ago, she says she can still learn from her colleagues and doesn’t mind waking up early in the morning to get to the vaccination site early.
– These are hard times and it’s time for us to help each other. We work with a new gurizada, academics, it is an exchange is super rich – explains.
And this exchange is a two-way street.
– They learn to work as a team, they can see larger actions. We do actions with more than 1,000 vaccinated. They have to have greater agility, learn to live with the team, acting during a pandemic. All this adds a lot to their training – explains the professor of the Nursing Technician of the Polytechnic College Caren da Silva Jacobi, 30 years old, who coordinated the team of volunteers of UFSM.
In the case of UFSM, the volunteers were selected by a form, which was sent by e-mail to students of the nursing courses. Students were preferably called closer to the completion of the course. The others were directed to a database and can be summoned in case of need. At UFN, the process was similar, and a WhatsApp group was created to coordinate the activities. One of the members of the group is the student Felipe Del Fabro, 24 years old, a nursing student at UFN, who makes a point of participating in all possible vaccination actions.
– It comes from the profile of nursing students, this desire to be contributing, helping others. We feel refreshed. Get out of here with a lot of compliments, thanks. I’ve never been so blessed. Many elderly people are vaccinated and say “God bless you.” They even bring bombom – reports Del Fabro, who acted as a vaccinator at Clube Dores.
In addition, about 200 other employees participated in the action, including health professionals and commissioned positions of the Departments of Urban Mobility, Social Development and Civil Housing, in an integrated action. Army personnel also assist in vaccination, with logistical support for the organization and assembly of 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 such campaigns. Last year, for example, volunteers worked on the application of influenza 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 secretariats, which is essential, in order to be able to make more and more progress in vaccination – ribas points out.
Among the volunteers, there is even international aid. The Ghanaian Zaria Adams, 26, participated for the first time as a volunteer last Tuesday. She arrived in Brazil in 2017 and started her nursing course in 2018 at UFSM.
Zaria is a former student of Only Believe senior high school Kukurantumi, in the eastern Region of Ghana.
“I wanted to participate, because I’m helping and learning too. I’m very happy helping people. The pandemic got in the way of everyone – it counts.”
According to the city’s Vacinometer, updated on Friday last week, 43,436 doses of vaccine were applied in the city. The 4,200 vaccines applied on Tuesday and the more than 5,500 on Thursday are not included in this account.