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The ‘vaccine whisperer’ helps find appointments for seniors

Sarah Gomez-Marwitz has helped dozens of seniors navigate the confusing scramble for vaccines in Colorado.

THORNTON, Colo. — Sarah Gomez-Marwitz has experience with online lotteries. She once sold tickets for the Rockies and assisted customers with the online ticketing system for Opening Day.

That experience has paid off for some during the pandemic.

Gomez-Marwitz has spent the last few weeks helping seniors navigate a confusing system in Colorado to find COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Appointments are primarily available through websites for different providers. Some seniors have signed up for multiple lists but haven’t gotten a call.

RELATED: How Coloradans 65+ can get in line for the COVID-19 vaccine

Gomez-Marwitz started by helping a friend’s parents, but as word spread of her ability to stalk online appointments successfully, more people began to ask for help.

“It started when I couldn’t sleep and I found an appointment for one of my parents,” she said.

She said she generally tells seniors which lists they need to sign up for on their own – the lists that ask for more personal information. Gomez-Marwitz said she takes basic information from them so she can sign them up for any pharmacy appointments she may come across.

She’s had a lot of success getting people connected.

“Some people just get really quiet…some people giggle… some people cry…but …you can feel the relief,” she said.

RELATED: COVID vaccine hotline expands to 24/7 operation, adds callback option

Gomez-Marwitz doesn’t have an exact number but said she has helped dozens of seniors.

She helped Caron Peterson find an appointment for her parents.

“For an 89-year-old and a 92-year-old, managing through that Colorado website was awful,” Peterson said.

“I’ve now named her the vaccine whisperer because she is the only person I know who has been able to help our seniors and our parents.”

Peterson said when her parents got appointments, they told their friends about Gomez-Marwitz and she found both of them appointments.

“If we could clone her a few million times, the world would be a better place.”

Gomez-Marwitz said she asks for nothing in return.

“I don’t know a lot of these people directly but they’ve got family and friends,” she said. “It’s a scary time right now and it’s just a little thing I’m able to do to help people.”

RELATED: Next Question: Should you take yourself off vaccine waiting lists after getting your shot?


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