SNOQUALMIE RIDGE, Wash. - Nancy Baker knows the art of multi-tasking.
The mom of three is spending a lot of time at her kitchen table — and that time has a purpose.
"We are wheeling and dealing here. I’ve got 25 people on my list trying to find slots for," Baker said.
On the day Q13 News met Baker, dozens of strangers were searching for a vaccine through her.
"It’s nice to feel useful especially when you are a compulsive helper," Baker said.
Even if you were eligible these past several months, an open appointment is hard to find for many, and that is where Baker comes in.
"I’ve got 25 tabs open," Baker said.
Her persistence, patience, and philanthropy have garnered her the nickname of the vaccine fairy. More than 200 people across Washington have her to thank for the shots going in their arms.
She relentlessly watches many vaccination sites in different zip codes all at once. When she clinches a spot, she immediately alerts the person seeking the vaccine. Sometimes they only have a matter of minutes to fill out the application.
"People sometimes are like it’s not here anymore, well you only had 4 minutes," Baker said.
At first, it was about helping her family and friends and community members on Snoqualmie Ridge but then word got out.
At first, she was doing it alone but then joined a nationwide movement of volunteers doing the same thing. Baker and others in her group can be reached at www.vaccinefairy.org.
"At the end you can hear them just get choked up it’s happened a few times," Baker said.
With vaccine eligibility opening up to everyone 16 years and older on Thursday, she’s about to spread those wings.
"I can already see the adjustments of where they are putting the vaccines," Baker said.
Baker said there was a learning curve but she’s invested so much time into the vaccine hunt that she’s obtained some tips and tricks along the way.
"I know there are places that vaccines don’t move and if you are willing to get in the car and go to different neighborhoods," Baker said.
It comes down to supply and demand. Many populated areas will get filled up quickly.
But Baker said there are spots throughout Washington state that have less demand and more available appointments. So that means you may have to drive longer distances to get a vaccine.
Baker said she suffers from lupus and other health conditions. Before the vaccine, she was one of those people who had to spend most of her time shut off from the world, inside at home, to avoid COVID-19.
Baker will never forget the day she was able to get a vaccine.
"I openly wept and so did the nurse next to me, I just started to ball and she started to cry," Baker said.
She wants to give that kind of fairy tale ending to all vaccine seekers wishing for it.
The computer is her wand.
"If I do this awhile I might need a new computer," Baker said.
Baker says there are also other groups and databases that could be helpful such as the Find a COVID shot WA Facebook group, WA COVID Vaccine Finder, Washington COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter and the DOH Vaccine Locator tool.
Baker will join Q13 News This Morning at 7:45 a.m. to talk about trends online in reserving a vaccine.
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