DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN ) – The Ohio Vaccine Hunters group was created in February by Nick Waterhouse. He lives in Colorado now but was inspired by his parents struggle to secure vaccine appointments in Ohio to start the group.
“There was just so much of a hard time trying to find correct information, up to date information and there really wasn’t a sounding board for people to share what they’re finding,” explained Waterhouse.
Many other states have similar Facebook groups. Their goals are to help people who need to secure vaccine appointments get what they need and alert people who are not in eligible groups of extra vaccine doses that may be thrown away after canceled appointments.
The Facebook group has about 2,000 members sharing information and details about the vaccine.
“It’s really the community that’s stepped up . We have people who are volunteering their data management skills to create databases of all the places offering excess doses…hourly, I see people who are finding other people appointments. These are either older people who aren’t internet savvy or they are people who are just working all the time,” explained Waterhouse.
Amanda Mincheff is one of those volunteers. A Dayton resident for more than a decade, she’s now helping those in the Miami Valley region find appointments.
Mincheff was able to successfully secure an appointment for herself and several other people so far.
“It’s the best thing I can do with any of my time and experience,” she said.
She recommends that those looking for their own vaccines familiarize themselves with the vaccine website that they’re trying to book through. She then says it is best to wait until midnight to refresh the website and find new appointments. She also recommends scrolling to appointments later in the day, rather than clicking on the first appointments you see for more success.
Waterhouse and Mincheff both caution against sharing personal information with strangers on the internet and meeting up with strangers although there are volunteers who will provide those services through the Facebook group.
In order to be a part of the Ohio Vaccine Hunter Facebook group, you must live within the state.
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