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National Guard members join the fight against COVID-19

Servicemen and women took to the front lines to battle against COVID-19 in Fremont Saturday by helping vaccinate 300 community members at a local clinic.
Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 8:29 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - With COVID-19 cases rising once again in Ohio, clinic staff at Community Health Services in Fremont say they’re racing to administer as many doses of the vaccine as possible.

“We are really concerned with the rise in COVID cases, lately there’s been a lot,” says Liszak. “We are concerned because people aren’t taking the vaccinations as seriously as they should.”

CEO of Community Health Services Joe Liszak is calling in reinforcements to help administer vaccinations. US servicemen and women filled clinic halls Saturday administering 300-second doses of vaccinations at their Community Health Services Fremont health center location.

“Having the Guard come in helps us really get more and more people done and vaccinated, in partnership with my staff and theirs, they are working on Friday evenings and Saturdays to vaccinate the community,” said Liszak.

Liszak believes with more needles in arms positivity rates will go down. Soldiers like Sgt. Matthew Madison say by assisting, they’re simply doing their jobs.

“It’s just a selfless service act...being in the military,” said Sgt. Matthew Madison.”When you’re called upon, you’re there to do the mission and complete the mission. This is an opportunity for our soldiers to get out there. It’s not something that anyone really planned for. Just to help out our local partners and just really help our community to stay protected, get immunized, just ensuring they get that proper education on how to better take care of themselves has just been awesome.”

Staff with the National Guard have assisted across Northwest Ohio since the start of the pandemic, working in food banks, offering COVID testing, and now vaccinating the public.

“We are trained professional medics and nurses so it’s just been a great opportunity for them to get out there and really help everybody out,” said Madison.

Fremont husband and wife Delores and Commodore Burel received their final doses of the vaccine Saturday afternoon, they both battled COVID-19 back in November.

“We want to take any opportunity we can to extend our life, many people have lost a life in this situation, and we want to do what we can to extend it,” said Commodore Burel. “The soldiers are doing part of their responsibility to protect and defend, so this is a good way for them to do that.”

“Every generation has their moment to stand up, and I think this is our moment in time,” said Community Health Services CEO Joe Liszak. “We need to stand up and get our community vaccinated, so we’re willing to partner with anyone to do that.”

Staff with the National Guard say they have worked at clinics in Toledo, Norwalk, and other Northwest Ohio locations, and say they plan to continue to do so until a majority of people are vaccinated.

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