The few thousand people who have received at least one of their COVID-19 vaccine shots at the Monroe County Fairgrounds may have noticed many of the volunteers who make these clinics possible are relatively close to them in age.
But they may also have seen a much younger volunteer – 2019 Waterloo High School graduate Carter Halt – who has served at about a dozen clinics since February.
“When I heard they were doing clinics, I figured they would have volunteers, but I assumed they would do a call for them,” Halt said. “I found out my grandmother was volunteering as one of the monitoring nurses back when we had all the snow so I volunteered to help, and I’ve been there since.”
“It’s a good thing and it helps people out,” Halt added. “The main reason I did it was because my grandmother was out there doing it in all the bad weather, and there was no way I was going to be able to stop her or convince her to not do it. So if I can’t get her to stop, I’m going to help.”
Monroe County Health Department Administrator John Wagner said Halt is the youngest regular volunteer.
Halt helps with managing parking at the clinics, as individuals must wait about 15 minutes after getting their shot to ensure they do not have any serious side effects.
The Schnucks and JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill employee said he volunteers whenever he can between his two jobs. He even helped out right after the death of his pet.
“It’s part of how I cope in the first place is just getting up and doing something,” he said. “Even beyond that, I was raised on the idea that you help people when they need it. Something like this, they need volunteers, and just in general, people need these shots. So if I can help with the whole process, I’m going to.”
Halt said he volunteered for other community causes in the past, but he is still impressed by how the community has rallied to make vaccination clinics possible.
“It’s kind of hard to find words for it,” he said. “It’s amazing to see all these volunteers. The people that have volunteered, the health department didn’t put out a call for. These were all people who called them.”