HAMPDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s becoming easier to find open vaccine appointments with community clinics popping up around the Midstate, but it hasn’t always been like that.
Hundreds of people have been able to get a COVID-19 vaccine thanks to the help of Diane Mumma in Hampden Township. While most people are sleeping, she’s on her laptop booking appointments.
It started as a quest to find her parents in Perry County a vaccine.
“You’re kind of at the mercy of this system that really is not conducive to the age group and demographic that really need this vaccine,” Mumma said.
Then Mumma joined a group of six other people who call themselves the COVID Vaccine Angels, finding people appointments across the country.
“We’ve had people in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey which was a challenge, New York probably the worst,” Mumma said.
Alone, she’s helped 371 people, usually searching between midnight and 2 a.m.
“Some doctors have actually gotten some of our names and they have patients that have hit a wall,” Mumma said. “They’re older, they maybe don’t have an email address or a cell phone number, which is the majority of people that we help.”
Mumma says it’s rewarding, especially when she hears “How grateful they are, when you call, a man in particular and he cries that you tell them you found an appointment for them.”
The whole group of seven angels has scheduled about a thousand appointments. One of them is a 75-year-old woman using just an iPad.
“Most of us have multiple servers, multiple tabs and there she is clicking away with one finger,” Mumma said.
Mumma says she’s getting fewer requests in, which is a good thing, meaning people are finding those vaccine appointments, but she’s going to continue helping for as long as she needs.