COVID vaccine

The Search For a COVID Vaccine: What People Are Doing to Get Vaccinated

The process of getting an appointment for the COVID vaccine can be frustrating, and now people are trying to find different ways to get the shot -- some showing up at vaccination sites before closing.

More than 5,000 people have already been vaccinated at Triton College. 

"I'm so happy because I've been trying for two months I have cancer and I wanted to get the shot," Chicago area resident Mary Ann Mallahan said. 

The mass vaccination site in River Grove, like many others in suburban Cook County, requires an appointment.

"There's never an appointment available so it's just incredibly difficult to get one," Sharon, woman who lives in the area, said.

But some people told NBC 5 they're "getting lucky" just by walking in.

"We had some friends that told us they came down here a few days ago and were able to get on a waitlist," said vaccine-recipient Mitchell Greenburg.

Greenburg and his wife said they didn't have appointments, but got vaccinated after the clinic had extra doses at the end of the day.

"You know I got nothing to lose," said Stacy Greenburg, Mitchell's wife. "Took a drive we waited a little over an hour until we got into the room and they took us right in."

A spokesperson for Cook County Health said some sites will occasionally have additional vaccines at the end of the day because of missed appointments or if workers are able to pull extra doses from the vials. Cook County Health said when that happens they'll work to find eligible people, who may be on site to get the shot so it doesn't go to waste.

"I'm grateful that I was able to be the lucky one and get in there," she said.

The search hasn't always been easy, which is why many are turning to social media for help on getting the shot.

"I had no idea that all these other people were going through some of the same stress and anxiety and try to filter through the complexities of getting the vaccine," Roger Naglewski, Chicago-area resident, said.

Naglewski started a Facebook group called "Chicago Vaccine Hunters" after seeing a similar group set up in New Orleans. 

"It's so nice to have a community and it's nice to see people share their successes," he said. "It's nice to see people that share their frustrations."

The Facebook group launched last weekend and has grown to more than a 1,000 members.

"The biggest joy I get from it is when I see people helping each other out and somebody may be commenting the next day saying, 'thank you so much for posting that information because of that my father got the vaccine'," Naglewski said.

The Facebook group is now listed on

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