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A Collier County couple helping others secure COVID-19 vaccine appointments

A Naples couple who is below the vaccine age requirement is trying to help neighbors and friends get appointments. Their retirement has now turned into a full-time job.

A few times per week Maria and Andrew Mair get up at the crack of dawn. “We’ll be up at 5:30ish, get the computers ready, one on each laptop,” the couple said.

They have two laptops, two phones and they just wait for the appointments to open. When they open, they’re off.

“This one works that computer hasn’t,” the Mairs said.

They’re dealing with all the kinks and errors involved with getting a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for two of their elderly friends, Nancy and Bob.

“Hi, it’s nancy and Bob we’re back home!” Nancy said.

“Why would you not if you’re able to give that assistance?” the Mairs said. “To us, it’s just giving the time to do it.”

It can take a long time. With their fingers at the ready, they sit, waiting for their screens to refresh and watching vaccines dwindle away.

“Collier’s just gone down to 2303 it was 2313,” they said.

Andrew and Maria are retired but they consider this their new job.

“We realize how frustrating and stressful it is for us just trying to get it so actually we really do know how stressful and frustrating it is for people who are not able to do that,” said the Mairs.

“It seems as if it’s the fastest and the fittest have to fight to get those vaccines, and yet obviously the people who are in their 80s are not going to be the fastest and the fittest,” they said.

Lately, they’ve become pretty quick, even securing the vaccine for one of their friends who is beyond grateful.

“It was just extraordinarily good. So thank you again, we love you both. Bye-bye,” Nancy said.

But it’s bittersweet because they were only able to get one appointment.  “At the end of Andrew doing all of those things, he got the appointment I was a bit devastated because then I felt guilty that I didn’t get the appointment,” Maria said.

This means the Mairs’ job isn’t over just yet.

Two tips to increase your odds of actually booking an appointment: get on the fastest internet or wifi connection possible and don’t get on a site until registration opens.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Drew Hill
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