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Palm Beach County community helps senior citizens get COVID-19 vaccine

Palm Beach County resident Linda Orlick talks to WPTV about difficulty of getting COVID-19 vaccine appointment.jpg
Posted at 5:29 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 17:29:02-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Your neighbors, friends, even complete strangers are stepping up and using social media to help many senior citizens get an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"I was so panicked I wanted to get the vaccine so I would be there for my family," said Linda Orlick.

After losing a loved one to COVID-19, Orlick says she tried every website and phone number possible to land an appointment for the coronavirus vaccine.

But it was a Facebook group that ultimately helped her receive her first dose.

"I don't know how else I would have done it. I would have been in the same throws of frustration as everybody else," Orlick said.

Last week, WPTV told you about the South Florida COVID-19 Vaccination Info group on Facebook, a resource sharing suggestions and helping people find an appointment. Since then, the group has tripled to more than 12,000 members.

"So we thought let's add some standard procedures and spreadsheets to this and turn this into a more automated streamlined process," said Jennifer Greenwald.

Inside their home office in Delray Beach, Jennifer and Jonathan Greenwald are helping the groups creators by designing intake forms, a database, and training a team of more than 80 volunteers to assist people across South Florida.

"So researching what sites are open, confirming with the folks they still need the vaccine and then finally booking," said Jonathan Greenwald.

More than 65 appointments were booked on Thursday alone. The page is also expanding, offering help in Spanish, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.

"We get everything from crying to a lot of thanks. It feels nice to know we're making a direct impact," said Jennifer Greenwald.

Providing a lifeline and hope, while many volunteers like the Greenwalds are still working full-time jobs.

"It's just so uplifting to know how great we can all be when we all come together," Orlick said.

For more information about the South Florida COVID-19 Vaccination Info group on Facebook, click here.