PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new Facebook group is hoping to make a match that may save a life from COVID. When Dr. Christine Meyer started practicing internal medicine 15 years ago she never dreamed it would include matchmaking.
“Honestly, we were inundated with people looking for help,” Meyer said.READ MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
Last Monday, when her team was working from home in Chester County due to the snow, Meyer sent an email out to her patients to see if anyone needed help to connect with someone who may help save their life.
“Once we saw our email server crash, we were like, ‘Woah, we need something bigger than just our little group,'” Meyer said.
Twelve-hundred replies and two hours later, she started the Facebook group “PA COVID Vaccine Match Maker.”
“The intent was to connect people who need the vaccine with people who have the technological ability to help them find it,” Meyer said.
She says it’s quickly morphed into so much more, including forums for finding an appointment and support for others still searching.READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
“It’s also become crowdsourcing for tips like how do you get to this Rite Aid site or what time does Wegmans drop their appointment,” Meyer said.
The group has thousands of followers and dozens of success stories already, like a 90-year-old local woman whose granddaughter in North Carolina reached out for help.
“It’s not an overstatement to say that that connection may have saved this lady’s life,” Meyer said.
The page is free to join and hopefully temporary. The goal is that one day soon it will no longer be needed.
“We’re going to have like this farewell boom and archive and never to be seen again and that is just going to be amazing because everyone who needs a vaccine will have had access to it by then,” Meyer said.
Dr. Meyer adds if you have computer access and a big heart, she’s also looking for volunteers to help find vaccines as new sites open.MORE NEWS: COVID In Philadelphia: City Easing More Restrictions Monday On Road To Recovery
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.