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Bergen County Moms Volunteer Around The Clock To Help Teachers Book Vaccine Appointments To Keep Schools Open And Safe

HILLSDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- New Jersey teachers are eligible to get COVID vaccines, but it's hard work to book an appointment.

As CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports, a group of working moms are becoming "vaccine angels" by night.

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

"You can't hesitate... You have 10 seconds sometimes to secure an appointment," Bozzo said.


The two moms from Hillsdale, New Jersey both have full-time jobs. They also have their eyes on vaccine appointments 24/7.

They've helped vaccinate almost half the staff at Hillsdale schools, where in-person learning is five days a week.

Teacher Lauren Lio said she'd already spent hours on the weekends trying to get her mom a spot.

It was a major help when the superintendent told teachers to just register on a Google Doc for help.

"Honestly, it was life changing," Lio said. "He sent out an email to the staff members that we had vaccine angels."

"It was basically magic," said Nicole Doniloski, a 4th grade teacher. "It's nice to know that I'm protected."

The women knew they had a knack for this when they booked appointments for their parents. Then they volunteered to help senior citizens.

"We made an agreement. We're just going to do it to 50.... We're doing this at all hours of the night," Gade said.

They kept going, and even helped teachers' at-risk family members get an appointment, too.

"To be working together instead of arguing with one another has really been a saving grace, and that has helped our kids stay focused," said Robert Lombardy, superintendent of Hillsdale Public Schools.

The school district gives teachers a day off when they have an appointment, in case they experience symptoms. An entire elementary school has already had its staff vaccinated thanks to these "vaccine angels."


"These teachers have given our kids such wonderful experiences. Then why would we not help?" said Gade.

The parents have since recruited two more volunteer working moms to help.

Bozzo and Gade's 10-year-old kids help, too - even if they're just refreshing a page.

"They see their teachers getting vaccinated. We had a 90-year-old man send us a text... that we saved his life, and our kids get to experience that," said Bozzo.

The women are experts at what time each location opens up slots and the rules and regulation for each county. So no one is turned away.

"When do we stop? When everyone who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated," said Gade.

They're taking the matter of keeping kids and teachers safe in school into their own hands.

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