Lehigh Valley Facebook group helps locals find vaccine appointments

Written by on February 10, 2021

Lehigh Valley Facebook group helps locals find vaccine appointments

By Mariella Miller

February 10, 2021

Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)

As folks across the Lehigh Valley are struggling to get vaccines, a Facebook group has popped up to help find direction.

Listen to the story.

It all started about a year and a half ago when Renae Shepherd’s mom went to get bloodwork and became very anxious when she was greeted by a tablet instead of a person.

“I got really frustrated because senior citizens who are super active and able to do most anything are kind of left out of healthcare as it transitions to a high tech world,” Shepherd says. 

Fast forward to January 2021 and Shepherd’s unsuccessful search for a coronavirus vaccine for her mom. Shepherd’s sister mentioned a Facebook group that was becoming popular in her and their mom’s South Florida community.

“Within a day and a half, I had my mom scheduled for an appointment two days later…I reached out to the organizer and I talked with him. He was very supportive…He gave me insight. He was my cheerleader” she says.

On January 20th, at 10:30 at night, she launched “Lehigh Valley COVID Vaccine Info” on Facebook to provide respectful, positive, verified information about where and how to get an appointment for a vaccine.

It has almost been three weeks since the page launched and nearly 2,500 have become members, and several hundred have secured vaccine appointments. 

Shepherd emphasizes, however, is that the page is neutral territory.

“The goal and the mission is to help other people and help people get access to vaccines. We don’t want to debate…we won’t tolerate that kind of behavior…we don’t need a ‘vent’ Facebook page. We need action,” she says. 

Shepherd says the “wow factor” is seeing people help each other.

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