Kent State Alumna Provides COVID-19 Vaccine Tips to Pittsburgh
COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more available across the country, but many are still struggling to obtain a vaccine or are unsure about getting the vaccine. One Golden Flash has made it her mission to get Pittsburgh vaccinated. And with more than 40,000 members of her Facebook group, she’s on her way.
Kent State alumna Leighann Bacher, B.S. '13, created a Facebook group to share COVID-19 vaccine information and tips with Pittsburgh citizens after attempting to secure vaccines for her family members.
Bacher was able to register herself and her family members for the COVID-19 vaccine after finding a Facebook post about a local pharmacy’s appointment openings.
“I kept seeing people struggling,” Bacher said. “I decided that, if I start this Facebook page where people can kind of post new tips and things like that, then other people could find availability the same way that I did.”
Bacher reached out to two women that were already posting vaccination appointment openings to their personal Facebook pages.
“The three of us together decided that a Facebook group would be the best way to connect people with opportunity,” Bacher said. “Since then, we have added around 30 admins from all over the Pittsburgh area that help run the page.”
Bacher created the page on Jan. 31, and said she started spreading awareness about her Facebook group by posting in other local community groups. The page grew through word of mouth and Facebook shares. By the end of the first day, Bacher’s group had 400 members.
The responsibilities of the page administrators grew as the group grew to over 30,000 members. Bacher says that running the page has become somewhat like a second job.
“When I'm not working, I'm checking the page, scheduling people and answering messages just to try to keep up with everybody who needs help,” Bacher said. “I think I've now scheduled appointments for maybe 200 people or so.”
To provide accurate information, Bacher and the other admins follow numerous Facebook pages on vaccine information, local pharmacies and other websites.
“I think the impact of being able to speed up the process a little bit has been really fulfilling,” Bacher said. “Where would these people be now if we hadn't done this?”
Bacher and the other admins plan to continue monitoring the group until it is no longer a necessity.
“I'm hoping in the next couple of months that we will have an oversupply, and it will be easier to find vaccines,” Bacher said. “We will still be there as a resource, but may be less involved.”
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine for Kent State students, please visit https://www.kent.edu/coronavirus/vaccine.
In early February WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh covered Bacher’s story and group: https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/thousands-pittsburgh-area-residents-using-facebook-group-share-covid-19-vaccination-info/A2BEXGEIXZGOHN5OSZF7PLFKHA/.
To see the Facebook group, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/gettingpittsburghvaccinated.