Coronavirus News: NYC podiatrist among volunteers helping with COVID vaccinations

COVID-19 News and Information
GARDEN CITY, Long Island (WABC) -- As more New Yorkers qualify for the coronavirus vaccine, there is a growing urgent need for more staff to vaccinate all those lining up for shots.

In Nassau County, doctors and nurses are answering the call for help by volunteering their time.

It would appear as though Dr. Harvey Katz -- the vaccinator -- has been doing this his whole life, putting patients like 98-year-old Morton Singer more at ease with humor as he gives Singer and others the lifesaving COVID vaccine.

However, what his patients may not realize is Dr. Katz is actually a podiatrist who works in Manhattan.

"I would've taken my shoe off, if I knew that," vaccine recipient Ron Hirsch said. "But he did a phenomenal job. It was a painless injection."

Katz is one of eight volunteers at the Nassau Community College vaccination pod Wednesday as part of the county's Medical Reserve Corps. They are medical professionals either past or present who have stepped up now to help in this endeavor for free.

Dr. Katz first volunteered after Superstorm Sandy, and realized it feels good to help people try to get back their lives.

"We've had a few that cried," Katz said. "Last time, a woman just broke down, just, 'I'm so grateful for this.'"

The hardest part was getting a spot in line. County health officials say due to short supply of the vaccine, the spots booked up on the website in just two minutes Tuesday.

Normally it takes about six weeks to become a member of the Medical Reserve Corps., but due to the emergency and the numbers of people, the county is trying harder and harder to streamline it.

"As the supply chain finally opens up, there's going be a greater and greater need for medical professionals to help us out," Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.

They don't feel like heroes, but that's probably why they are. They don't want to get paid, instead they get priceless gratitude as they help save lives.

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