FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Vaccine Hunters group on Facebook was launched to help people in the Volunteer State find COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
At the Williamson County Ag Expo Park, they were busy on Monday. Some people believe you're lucky if you secure an appointment to get vaccinated in the county where you live. That's why Tatum Allsep launched the Tennessee Vaccine Hunters group on Facebook, "and people have been so willing to share, even after they’ve gotten their shot, it makes me really proud to be in Tennessee," Allsep said.
Now that the private sector is vaccinating people, crowdsourcing helps them know where to get one. For example, one person posted that the Walmart in Cleveland had appointments available Wednesday through Friday. "So that’s been a little tricky to navigate for some people because Walmart has put in their own regulations," Allsep said.
I talked to two vaccine hunters who want to be anonymous: One Nashvillian went to Mississippi to get her shot. The other was a teacher from Georgia who came to Tennessee to get her injection.
Public officials are asking people to get vaccinated in their own county. However, since federal resources and taxpayer dollars are being used, people can technically go anywhere according to the vaccine hunters.
"Mississippi and Alabama we’ve learned from this group have unique access points," Allsep said. "They’re not checking ID’s in some places so it is like, and I cannot stress this enough, it is the craziest thing, but it is like the wild west."
Allsep launched the page a few weeks ago, and it already has more than 800 people in the group. "This is for all people to gain access so we can get back to work, and back to life safely,” Allsep said.
She regulates the Facebook page in her free time when she's not working with her non-profit, Music Health Alliance, which helps musicians gain access to healthcare.