Facebook group helping seniors, at-risk get COVID-19 vaccine | KAALTV.com

Facebook group helping seniors, at-risk get COVID-19 vaccine

Miguel Octavio
Updated: February 17, 2021 11:16 PM
Created: February 17, 2021 10:30 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine still exceeds supply.

For seniors and those most at-risk, setting an appointment up can be a challenge but some are finding luck through one Facebook group.

It started with Maura Caldwell. She found out there were extra vaccines at one hospital so she spread the word and even got her parents vaccinated.

That inspired her to start the Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters Facebook group. But now it's helping people across the state, including one woman from Rochester.

Stephanie Brown has barely seen her mother ever since the coronavirus started spreading.

"Even though she lives in Minneapolis and we're only an hour away from each other, I've seen her three times since a year ago," Brown said.

A year with missed opportunities to be with her one-year-old son. 

Since the state announced the pilot vaccination program in January, Brown has been fighting to get vaccine appointment for her mother. It all paid off Monday.

"I cheered out loud and my husband looked at me like, 'What is going on?'" Brown said. 

After hitting a wall, now there's hope her mother will hug her grandbaby soon.

But it wasn't possible without the help of the Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters. 

"I'm so glad that so many people have been able to join the group and find resources," Caldwell said.

Caldwell said the group has grown so much even people overseas are asking help for their loved ones living in Minnesota. As of Wednesday, 8,000 people have joined the group. 

The group also helps people navigate the system online. 

"It makes the work worth it," Caldwell said. "I'm really grateful, and it keeps me going and makes me want to do the extra work."

Aside from her mother, Brown said she was also able to secure vaccines for her mother-in-law, who lives in Rochester.

"It's one more step to seeing your family on a regular basis," Brown said.

Group members said there are tips that could boost one's chances of getting the vaccine. They said:

  • Make sure you have an account set up with local pharmacies
  • Check-in with your MyChart and healthcare providers 
  • Have proper information ready when helping loved ones book an appointment
  • The group is also encouraging others to help neighbors who need help navigating the system. 

To visit the Facebook group, visit this link

Copyright 2021 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company