Nguyen Siblings Assist at Mass Vaccination Clinic

In the fight against COVID-19 on Guam, the Nguyen siblings, Bao-Thanh (BT) and Vinh, volunteered their time and service in helping our island’s teachers get their COVID-19 vaccination shots. The siblings were out assisting with the vaccination clinic organized by the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS), in collaboration with American Medical Center (AMC) and the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) from January 27 to 28 at the Tiyan High School gymnasium. 

A senior at St. John’s School, BT’s passion to be involved in the fight against COVID-19 started before her service at the vaccination clinic. She is currently working with the University of Guam (UOG) Gen Z youth group to help spread awareness of COVID-19 and advocating for the betterment of the community through the use of social media. “I wanted to see how I can be more involved and make a difference in our fight against COVID-19,” said the high school senior. When she heard that teachers were getting vaccinated, she wanted to help.

Eighth grader, Vinh, was inspired to volunteer at the distribution center knowing how important the vaccine would be to so many, especially the essential and high-risk individuals. “Seeing the millions of COVID-19 deaths in the world, I knew that a vaccine is the only way we can get out of this pandemic,” expressed Vinh.

At the vaccination clinic, Vinh was responsible for regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the gym. He notified the worker stationed by the door as to how many people may enter the building, depending on the number of available slots at the check-in counter. “This assures that the process runs efficiently, and it will give all of our beloved teachers a quick and seamless vaccination experience,” said Vinh.

BT was tasked to guide teachers to the vaccination station after they were checked in. She collaborated with students from UOG, Father Duenas, and Notre Dame to help make this process efficient. In addition, she also helped in comforting those who felt anxious about getting the shot by providing more information about the vaccine or by engaging in brief conversations. She added that what she gained from these experiences was an increase of admiration for all teachers. “All of them said that they came out here to get the vaccine for the children. By taking this, they are very hopeful to see more students in the classroom.”

The two-day vaccination clinic started at 6 PM and ended at 8 PM, but the siblings would already be at the venue by 5:30 PM to prepare themselves. By 7:45 PM, everyone who was scheduled for the vaccination had already received their shots. Although the site closes at 8 PM, the clinic continued to vaccinate those who were eligible but not inclusive to the criteria, so as to not waste a single dose. A total of 333 people were vaccinated on Wednesday and 450 on Thursday.

BT is interested in getting vaccinated when given the opportunity. “Getting the vaccine is a layer of protection for me, but also for the people around me,” said the older Nguyen sibling. 

Vinh explained the significant role vaccines play on our island’s path to normalcy. “Being vaccinated can save lives, open businesses, improve mental health, and get our island back on track to social and economic success,” stressed the eighth grader.

Both siblings adamantly plan to continue to help with future vaccination clinics. “With more than 2,000,000 deaths across the globe, we should spring to action to quell the pandemic that took away an unprecedented amount of lives and businesses,” said Vinh. Although BT has previously taken part in doing various testing, she plans to continue to participate in future community COVID-19 testing that the clinic is doing.

Photo credit: Minh-Ha Nguyen

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