How everyday people are making the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible

Two moms schedule hundreds of vaccine appointments, while a teen provides ride-share vouchers for seniors getting vaccinated.


The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has not been without complications.

But when they saw issues of accessibility, particularly for seniors, everyday Americans stepped in to help.

That includes Kristen Nelson and Megan Marshall, friends for more than 40 years who came together to schedule hundreds of vaccine appointments, many for complete strangers.

The duo noticed that their parents had difficulty when trying to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

After helping them out, they turned their attention to friends’ parents, and from there, it spread like wildfire.

“We've booked as far away as Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky,” Kristen revealed.

The pair helped more than 125 people sign up for the vaccine in the first 10 days alone.

By early April, that number had grown to around 450 booked appointments.

“My nephew said to me, ‘Auntie, if you could just picture filling an entire auditorium of people, that's how many people you've helped,’” Megan explained. “It just really struck me because I hadn't stopped to think about what that volume looked like. And he was like, ‘You have no idea. That’s so many people that you've helped.’”

In Stockton, California, a teenager developed a concept to provide seniors with ride-share vouchers to take them to and from vaccination appointments.

Thirteen-year-old Kevin Manshadi decided to set up a GoFundMe to put his plan into action, raising more than $9,600.

With help from his father, cardiologist Dr. Ramin Manshadi, he was able to get in touch with local officials to allocate the funds for this purpose.

Seniors in San Joaquin County who need transportation help can call a designated number and will receive a voucher covering the round-trip cost to get to a vaccination site.

“It makes me feel like I've done my job right as a parent, and, of course, my wife, also,” said Dr. Manshadi.

We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 spreading across the nation and world, and the stories about how people are coping, battling, and persevering through the pandemic have become more important than ever.

In each episode, “Field Notes” brings you a handful of stories about how coronavirus has impacted real people across the United States, and you can hear more about what it’s like to cover the pandemic from the local news teams that are committed to keeping you informed, no matter what.