With information on COVID-19 vaccinations ever-changing, securing an appointment can be challenging for many — especially those with a lack of internet access or technology. Fortunately, there is a new volunteer organization called VAXIE (Vaccinate Inland Empire) working to connect residents with vaccination resources in the Inland Empire.
To date, VAXIE has booked over 2,200 vaccine appointments for qualified individuals who needed extra help finding or booking a vaccine appointment. Leveraging their knowledge of the complex processes, VAXIE has developed a free service to get more qualified residents, especially those without computers, vaccine appointments. Staffed by a growing number of helpful volunteers, the VAXIE “warmline” currently supports both English and Spanish speakers. Callers can leave a message, and a trained volunteer will call back within 48 hours.
“Technology should not be the barrier to getting vaccinated,” says Rhea Hoffman, VAXIE co-creator. “We need to support our local residents who cannot make these appointments themselves. We are so proud of our volunteers who are stepping up to help others so that this service can be offered to all who need it, free of charge.” It is important to note that VAXIE volunteers are not medical professionals and do not offer medical advice.
Additionally, VAXIE offers appointment resources on their website, VAXIE.info, for individuals who can book their own appointments but need help navigating all of the options to find something that will work for them. The website has had more than 21,000 views since being launched on February 4. VAXIE also posts live appointment opportunities to their Facebook page to help alert followers when vaccine appointments are available to help alleviate the problem of spending hours searching for them for themselves and their loved ones. These Facebook posts have reached over 31,000 people.
Have your vaccine and want to help?
As a fully volunteer organization, VAXIE can use help in spreading the word about their service. Sharing the warmline, website and Facebook page helps get the word out. Pick up their flyers and bring them to groups who may benefit. Help sign up a friend or neighbor who may need it. You can also share your vaccine experience with them via the contact form on their website. How long was your wait? Where did you park? Was the process easy? These are all helpful resources for their team.
As they grow their network, VAXIE is also accepting applications for additional warmline volunteers; forms are available on their website. The organization operates at a loss and does not make any money from this service, so donations which can be made via PayPal are always appreciated.
VAXIE: Vaccine Resource
Warmline: (760) 833.0569
Contact: [email protected]