Vaccine Angels: Bergen County Moms Helping Teachers Book Vaccine Appointments

With one set of hands on the computer and another on the phone, Jamie Bozzo and Melissa Gade are like vaccine appointment ninjas. CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: Teachers in New Jersey are eligible to get COVID vaccines, but it is hard work to book an appointment.

MAURICE DUBOIS: So a group of moms are helping out by becoming "Vaccine Angels" by night. CBS2's Lisa Rozner has this story.

LISA ROZNER: With one set of hands on the computer and another on the phone, Jamie Bozzo and Melissa Gade are like vaccine appointment ninjas.

JAMIE BOZZO: You can't hesitate. You have 10 seconds, sometimes, to secure an appointment.

LISA ROZNER: The two Hillsdale, New Jersey moms, who both have full-time jobs, also have their eyes on vaccine appointments 24/7. They've already helped vaccinate almost half of the staff at Hillsdale schools, where in-person learning is 5 days a week. Teacher Lauren Lio said she'd already spent hours on the weekends trying to get her mom a spot, so when the superintendent told teachers to just register on a Google Doc for the help--

LAUREN LIO: Honestly, it was like life-changing. He sent out in an email to the district, to the staff members, that we had "Vaccine Angels."

NICOLE DONILOSKI: It was basically magic. It's nice to know that I'm protected.

LISA ROZNER: The women knew they had a knack for this when they got their parents appointments and then volunteered to help senior citizens.

JAMIE BOZZO: We made an agreement-- we're just going to do it to 50. We're doing this all hours of the night.

LISA ROZNER: But they kept going, even helping teachers' at-risk family members get an appointment, too.

ROBERT LOMBARDY: To be working together instead of arguing with one another has really been a saving grace. And that has helped our kids stay focused.

MELISSA GADE: These teachers have given our kids such wonderful experiences, then why would we not help?

LISA ROZNER: The parents have since recruited two more volunteer working moms to help. Jamie and Melissa's 10-year-old kids assist, too. Even just refreshing the page.

JAMIE BOZZO: They see their teachers getting vaccinated. You know, we had a 90-year-old man send us a text that we saved his life. And our kids get to experience that.

LISA ROZNER: The women are experts at what time slots open up and the rules of every county, so no one is turned away.

MELISSA GADE: When do we stop? I mean, when everyone who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated.

LISA ROZNER: Taking the matter of keeping kids and teachers safe in school into their own hands. In Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lisa Rozner, CBS2 News.

MAURICE DUBOIS: And the district also gives teachers a day off when they have an appointment, in case they get side effects. An entire elementary school has already had its staff vaccinated thanks to the "Vaccine Angels." That's teamwork right there.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: It is. Community, that's what that is.