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'Vaccine Hunter' shifts efforts after COVID vaccine appointments made easier

Sarah Gomez-Marwitz said even though the questions have changed her mission is still the same.

DENVER — A woman who spent the first months of vaccine eligibility in Colorado helping people navigate the system and book hard-to-find appointments is now changing her efforts as the call for help has also changed.

We first met Sarah Gomez-Marwitz in February. At that time, word was spreading of her ability to stalk online appointments successfully and more and more people were asking for help. 

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But now, demand for vaccines has dropped off markedly nationwide. We talked to Gomez-Marwitz about how she is also shifting her efforts to help.

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(Editor's Note: Responses may have been edited for context and clarity)

9NEWS: What was your mission as a “Vaccine Hunter”?

Gomez-Marwitz: I help people find vaccine appointments and understand the process of getting vaccinated.

What questions have changed from the public since you started in February?

Gomez-Marwitz: Before it was, ‘I want any appointment, help me find one’ and now people are looking a lot more into the different vaccine makers and what might work better for their specific situation. ‘Where can they find those? Do they have to go online? Do they need to call, or can they just show up? How do they go about getting an appointment and who can they talk to if they do have specific questions?’.

How has this changed what you do as a vaccine hunter?

Gomez-Marwitz: For a lot of people, they're able to go online and get their appointments…it’s pretty easy to find an appointment yourself these days, you can a lot of times walk into a lot of places.  But now a lot of it is talking to people a lot about still the importance of getting the vaccine and how far along we are as a state and even more locally.

With the recent news that the FDA may give emergency authorization for children 12 to 15 years old to get the Pfizer vaccine are you hearing a lot of questions from concerned parents?

Gomez-Marwitz: A lot of what I’m hearing (is) people looking for a vaccine. ‘Where am I going to get a Pfizer appointment for my older teenager?’ I hear a lot of ‘When is that going to happen? Who’s going to offer it?’.

What’s been the best part of what you do?

Gomez-Marwitz: I love seeing the grandparents reunited with grandkids…and hearing people’s stories and just seeing things get back to normal…it’s a really bittersweet feeling.