Facebook page helps connect people in Wisconsin with the COVID-19 vaccine

NOW: Facebook page helps connect people in Wisconsin with the COVID-19 vaccine

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- They call themselves vaccine hunters or vaccine angels.

A group of people working together to find the vaccine for people who may need them.

A Germantown man is behind a vaccine hunter Facebook page that is helping people around the state get the vaccine.

The Facebook page, Milwaukee & WI Area Vaccine Hunters and Angels was created two weeks ago. It now has close to 3,000 members.

“It started off a little slow but honestly once we started showing that we could help get vaccinations or get them scheduled, as well as shots in the arms, it just started spreading,” said Bob Orech, who created the page.

It has become an online community. People share information like where to get the vaccine, how to sign up, and even find leftover doses of the vaccine that would otherwise go to waste.

“They were very informative,” said Kim Ziegler.

She was referred to the page by a friend after expressing frustration in not finding the vaccine for her daughter. Her daughter has cystic fibrosis and is eligible through her job.

Ziegler had been having trouble getting an appointment through Walgreens. Those on the page told her she could start scheduling at Walgreens at 6 a.m., something she didn’t know. She got through.

“I’m just very grateful,” said Ziegler.

“I was just hoping to find a vaccine that would otherwise go to waste,” said Lauren Fox.

She found one with some advice from the page. People were having luck getting on waitlists or asking pharmacists if there were vaccines that were going to expire.

She eventually got a call from a pharmacist. She says she got a shot at 6:19 p.m. from a dose that was set to expire at 6:20 p.m.

 “I was very clear with every pharmacist,” said Fox, “I’m not in an eligible group and I don’t want to cut the line. I feel good about cause this one was either going into my arm or in the garbage,” she said.

Orech says he, his moderators, and others on the page are also assisting those 65 and older find the vaccine, as well as teachers. He makes sure he’s there for those who may need his help, on and off Facebook.

“I'm not sure if I'm gonna regret this, but I put my cell phone number on there. I don't really care. If it means I can help someone, whatever that's fine.”

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