Everyday Michiganders help track down vaccines for those who want it

Everyday Michiganders help track down vaccines for those who want it

DETROIT – The state of Michigan aims to vaccinate 100,000 people every day.

While the vaccines are more widely available, can anyone who wants a shot easily get one?

Michigan first started with 84,000 vaccine doses and are now up to 5.6 million. It’s a race to vaccinate as COVID-19 continues to spread through the state.

Who has the vaccine?

Meijer is making a big impact administering 500,000 doses. 120,000 doses are scheduled for next week and 35,000 doses for the Ford Field FEMA clinic.

The city of Detroit has administered 90% of its 308,000 vaccine doses, but wants more demand.

And then there’s the battle on where there are vaccine doses and how to make an appointment.

For two months, complete strangers teamed up on social media to hunt down who had the vaccine and made appointments for those who were struggling to get one.

Elizabeth Griem tried to make a vaccine appointment early on for her father, but she said it was a nightmare to set up. She realized she was good at working the phones and sign-up websites.

Whitney Raska is a health care worker who found herself having extra vaccines at the end of the day, but needed to find seniors to give it to.

“It was like frantically trying to find people who could drop everything and come in in a few hours,” Raska said.

Katie Monaghan saw where people were struggling and she made the Facebook page Detroit Area Vaccine Hunters.

She said she’s help more than 3,000 people get vaccinated.

The page now has 200 volunteers working to help people get a vaccine appointment.

“Please help us find people who are still vulnerable,” Monaghan said. “We can make appointments for them quickly.”

The vaccine can still be scarce in some areas. The Dearborn Fire Department is vaccinating 1,500 people every day with supply just ahead of demand.

Washtenaw County remains flooded with requests. They’re using mass clinics and home visits to get shots out as they get shots in stock.

Officials in Macomb County said demand is high and the Macomb County Health Department is getting 30,000 doses each week.

The vaccine hunters said there are still vulnerable people that don’t know how to make an appointment, there are younger people that don’t know they are eligible and there are those who don’t want it.

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.