Not just vaccinating pets: Veterinarians volunteer to administer COVID-19 shots

Not just vaccinating pets: Veterinarians volunteer to administer COVID-19 shots

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Veterinarians have been busier than ever during the coronavirus pandemic, keeping your dogs and cats healthy and up-to-date on vaccines.

Now it turns out, they could be the ones giving you your COVID-19 shot in Ohio too.

19 News found they are highly qualified for the job.

Dogs and cats have a way of putting a smile on our faces in the toughest times.

Now, more than ever, they are easing loneliness and isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Veterinarians have been overwhelmed with business as a result of COVID because the isolation has made people go out and rescue animals,” said Dr. Linda Schoenberg, a local retired veterinarian and active volunteer.

She’s also treasurer of Cleveland Academy of Veterinary Medicine.

“In 1988, I opened up the first strictly feline practice in Northeast Ohio,” she said.

Early this year, state officials started reaching out to veterinarians, looking for volunteers to help with the huge demand for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Schoenberg thinks vets are a perfect fit.

“I think there’s just something about our nature that just exudes compassion and gentleness and I think people would get the same feeling if we were the ones to be administering the vaccine,” Schoenberg said.

She hopes to volunteer sometime soon and said you should be confident if a veterinarian gives you a Covid-19 shot.

“Veterinarians probably give more injections than anyone who has the word doctor in front of their name. And we’ve been doing it for years, and we have wonderful bedside manner because prior to at least COVID, we always had to communicate to our owners,” Schoenberg said.

Not only do they give vaccines all the time, they also know a thing or two about herd immunity.

“Veterinarians have been dealing with herd health forever. And when you start to think of people in a pandemic, it’s like veterinarians dealing with a herd. A huge flock of chickens or turkeys come down with a disease that can go through a flock and decimate it,” she said.

She said the COVID-19 vaccines give her hope for an end to the pandemic.

“You can’t just ignore this virus. It mutates as we all well know. And we’re just hoping the vaccines that are currently available will be able to rise to the occasion,” Schoenberg said.

Veterinarians aren’t the only ones volunteering to give vaccinations.

Last week, 19 News profiled a local dentist helping out.

So far, about 143 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given nationwide.

Copyright 2021 WOIO. All rights reserved.