(WXYZ) — They’ve been online for about three weeks and continue to grow. Katie Monaghan started Detroit Vaccine Hunters – an open page to everyone on Facebook to help connect seniors with COVID vaccinations especially online.
Monaghan tells 7 Action News, “It has ballooned to more than I could possibly have ever imagined.”
She saw this crowdsourcing happening in other locations and brought it to Metro Detroit. They make it clear there’s no way to jump the lines with high demand.
“Stories about people cutting the lines makes people angry and they get quite a bit of news action. There’s not all these back doors and people with connections,” Monaghan says.
A second layer of Detroit Vaccine Hunters is a group of angels.
Elizabeth Griem got involved for personal reasons saying, “I tried everything possible to get my father and my father-in-law signed up.”
Volunteers are screened before they are allowed to work with basic data from seniors to sign them up online where they can’t do it themselves.
“We also check out their Facebook profile to make sure they pass the smell test,” Monaghan says.
Vaccination cancelations can provide same-day openings that are communicated through the page and the volunteer angels.
Griem says, “I booked a couple from Ann Arbor for today. They were going to drive all the way to Marlette.”
“It’s literally addicting. It’s the most rewarding work possible,” Monaghan says.
Griem added, “It is so rewarding to me that we can help out what is the greatest population.”
Seniors who do it themselves can wait weeks.
Eighty-six-year-old Lois Berry contacted 7 Action News for help in frustration saying it was awful and made her mad. She got vaccinated today at a Rite Aid in Flat Rock.
She says COVID was life and death for her saying, “Everybody else was getting them, but not us in Brownstown. I had cancer in my lungs, stage one. I didn’t want to catch this or get sick and have pneumonia and be in the hospital.”
The number of vaccines continues to grow in Michigan. These Detroit Vaccine Hunters help people when they need it the most.