With more Californians now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, appointments are currently tough to come by as supply struggles to keep up with demand.
But in San Diego County, many are finding a way to expedite the process by volunteering at local vaccination super stations.
“I wanted it as soon as possible” Dan McLellan said.
McLellan, 47, recently volunteered at the Del Mar super station and found the job fun and rewarding, as he helped check in shot recipients.
“I had one lady who had almost a panic attack that I couldn’t find her in the system -- I’m like, ‘Calm down, we’ll get through this together,’ ” McLellan said with a laugh.
McLellan said he was able to secure a volunteer job by working with the Rotary Club of Del Mar, which has established a relationship with Scripps.
“The super sites depend on volunteers,” said Dugan Lamoise, president of the Rotary Club of Del Mar. "Rotary is passionate about volunteers, so it’s extremely significant to the operations of these sites."
But there’s a catch: Volunteering doesn’t guarantee a vaccination. At Del Mar, it only happens if there are leftover doses, and then they’re prioritized.
Initially, McLellan’s name wasn’t called.
“It was like I lost," McLellan said. "There was an initial real letdown."
Not one to give up, though, McLellan volunteered for a second time, and that time, his name was called and he was able to receive his first vaccination.
Earlier this year, McLellan was a contestant on the well-known game show "Let’s Make a Deal." He compared being called up on the stage with getting his COVID-19 vaccination.
“When I got called to get my shot, it was more exciting than getting called down on 'Let’s Make a Deal,' " McLellan said. "I was, like, through the roof. I had won."
And with it, a tremendous sense of relief that many people are now starting to feel.
“For every day for over a year, I think we’ve all been feeling a level of stress that has been related to COVID," McLellan said. "And although it doesn’t take it all away instantly, getting that first shot and knowing a second is on the way is a dramatic step in easing the daily stress that’s been in our lives."