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'Vaccine Angels' book 2,000 appointments for Michigan's most vulnerable

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 26, 2021

(WXYZ) — A few weeks ago, we told you about the Detroit Area Vaccine Angels. It's a group of volunteers that banded together online to book COVID 19 vaccine appointments for those struggling to do it on their own.

They know the schedules, they know the systems, and so far they've been able to book more than 2,000 appointments for Michigan’s most vulnerable. But they aren't stopping there.

"I'm spending way too many hours a day,” joked angle Elizabeth Greim. “There's someone working on the sheet at all hours of the day."

That sheet is filled with hundreds of names of people needing a vaccine, but struggling to find appointments.

Even during the interview with 7 Action News, Greim and fellow angel Katie Monaghan were surfing Kroger's website, trying to land an appointment for someone in Flushing. All over the state, there’s an army of angels, doing the same.

“I like to say it's a volunteer-led good Samaritan effort to help get seniors and those struggling vaccinated,” Monaghan said.

About 150 people a day fill out their google form to get on the list, which is prioritized by age and medical conditions. They have a growing number of vaccine sites they check, which right now is at 67.

"It’s all publicly available information, we do not utilize any backdoors,” Monaghan said. “We’re just playing connect the dots. If there's a vaccine event in Muskegon, we go find everyone who lives in Muskegon.”

Right now pharmacies tend to drop their appointments online after midnight, but at that time many seniors who need them aren’t there to grab them even if they're good with computers.

That’s when the vaccine angels swoop in.

"We call it the witching hour when appointments drop," Greim joked. “On a good Rite Aid night I can book around 20 appointments."

That’s 20 shots going into arms, and when the angels see those shots first hand with thank you posts on their Facebook page "Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters," it makes those late nights and early mornings worth it.

“It keeps you going," Monaghan said. "It's the fuel that keeps you going.”

Within 5 minutes, that Kroger appointment they were searching for is now booked, a call already placed to the person set to receive it.

While this pandemic has been known to bring out the worst in people, the angels remind us that it also brings out our best. You just have to know where to look.

“It's so touching just to be able to make that big of an impact in people’s lives, " Greim said. "It's the best feeling in the world to potentially save somebody's life.”

The angels' program is meant to help those who can’t land appointments on their own. If you can navigate the internet, it's best to join their public Facebook page "Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters" where most of the tips and information is shared.

If you need assistance from the Angels, you can fill out this form below.