Written by Hung Wen Chang
Translated by H. B. Qin
Edited by Adriana DiBenedetto
With the eligibility of Pfizer booster shots expanding in the U.S. offering additional protection from COVID-19, Tzu Chi USA’s Seattle Service Center began collaborating with a local clinic, International Community Health Services (ICHS), to provide further vaccination services to the community.
“We don’t know who has contracted the virus. We just don’t know, so we should finish the third dose according to the government’s requirements,” expressed Yen Ming Huang, a community resident who’d rolled up his sleeve for the event. And indeed, in doing so, Yen Ming Huang was not only protecting himself, but also reducing the spread of the virus, and helping prevent new variants from emerging in the long run.
Having received the booster on September 27, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden also spoke about the booster, explaining that, “The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there, the ones we’ve been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot.”
By October 20, more than 700,000 people in the United States had passed away due to COVID-19, with more than 2,000 people in the United States dying due to COVID-19 that very day.
Kris, who visited Tzu Chi’s Seattle Service Center to receive her third dose, provides food delivery services, and often must interact fairly closely with clients — whether through the physical transfer of money or by handling credit cards.
As Tzu Chi volunteers serve the community together with partners, they’re committed to making each moment count and ensuring the utmost efficiency at such events. PPE in place, volunteers sanitize hands and surfaces without delay, and temperatures are taken on-scene. Staff members mindfully inquire about the health of guests, and after the vaccination is administered, individuals are invited to rest for 15 minutes for monitoring in the event of side effects.
Local Tzu Chi volunteers collaborate with International Community Health Services (ICHS) for the second time to serve the community. Photo/Tzu Chi Seattle Service Center
On September 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released information regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech booster dose, stating that people over 65 years of age, people with underlying medical conditions, or people with a higher risk of exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, should receive the booster if they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series at least six months prior.
As soon as the CDC released the updated statement, Tzu Chi’s Seattle Branch volunteers contacted International Community Health Services, and soon set up a vaccination service station at Tzu Chi’s Seattle Service Center. In just over an hour, 15 people came to receive vaccinations.
With help from participating nurses, the community event was able to translate seamlessly for guests, and the bridge built through caring communication brought an easy joy to the hearts of those receiving their vaccinations.
“The more people come to get their vaccine, the farther and farther away this pandemic will be from us.” Helen, an ICHS nurse, and other doctors and nurses each traveled to Tzu Chi’s Regional Office with one loving goal in mind: to unite for the cumulative health and wellness of the community. And, through additional carefully organized, free, local events like these, we hope more people can gain access to boosters, and open the door ever-wider toward a bright future for all.
COVID-19 is still a concern, but through caring, concerted efforts, we can strive to overcome these challenges. Photo/Tzu Chi Seattle Service Center