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By Dave Russell


COVID-19 has a reputation for costing jobs, not creating them, but the pandemic has Western Carolina University looking to hire 64 people – starting now.

WCU applied to become a vaccine provider, and was approved last week.

Freezers for storing the vaccine have been ordered and will be installed soon, WCU spokesman Geoff Cantrell said. The clinic aims to provide a minimum of 500 vaccines per day, the university said in a release.

Now comes the hard part – finding the folks to administer the shots and run the clinic.

“WCU expects to have the clinic open for the public soon,” Cantrell said. “We have listed job postings and have multiple temporary positions to assist with the work to come.”

A post on the WCU job board advertises the positions for “Regional Vaccination Clinic Personnel #T00576” with a salary range of $15-$30 per hour, based on position.

The clinic will require vaccine administrators and administrative support staff to perform data entry, call center responsibilities, scheduling, etc.

Medical personnel will administer vaccines, monitor recipients and address medical concerns.

Administrative support staff will ensure record keeping, patient check-in, scheduling, call center and other duties as assigned.

Medical personnel administering vaccines must be currently licensed in N.C. Approved vaccinators are considered MD’s, DO’s, PA’s, RN’s, LPN’s, students in these categories under supervision of a licensed provider, immunizing pharmacists, pharmacy technicians (with appropriate training), EMT’s, Paramedics, and MA’s (with appropriate training).

A high school diploma or equivalency; or demonstrated possession of the competencies necessary to perform the work is required, the posting states.

Application information and the link to apply can be found at https://jobs.wcu.edu/postings/14975.

WCU is also looking for an onsite clinical volunteer coordinator, a position with a salary range of $36-$40 per hour. This position must be filled by an RN or someone with higher qualifications. Responsibilities include to recruit, train, onboard clinical vaccinator volunteers through basic orientation, and maintain the schedule, the job posting states.

More information can be found at https://jobs.wcu.edu/postings/14995.

Temporary employees are paid bi-weekly on an hourly basis and do not receive benefits.

Final candidates are subject to criminal and sex offender background checks. Some vacancies also require credit or motor vehicle checks.

The university seeks volunteers to augment the staff. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, go to https://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-enrichment/center-for-service-learning/vaccination-resources.aspx. 

The university does not have its own vaccine supply, nor does it have the authority to develop its own independent prioritization framework.

“No details are set yet, but we will let you know once they are,” Cantrell said. “This is not just for faculty, staff and students. It is for the community.”

The clinic will vaccinate using the protocol set forward by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.