Columbia University student helping Coloradans find vaccine appointments

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — A 21-year-old Columbia University student is helping Coloradans book vaccine appointments after learning the process can be complicated and time-consuming.

Charlie Wallace, a sophomore studying political science, first helped his family in Colorado find appointments before realizing there was a greater need.

“I’ve been told that it’s a really overwhelming experience trying to find a vaccine,” he said. “There are many, many people that have [shared] how they spend hours upon hours and they don’t even feel like they’ve come close to getting the vaccine.”

Wallace, who grew up in the Lowry neighborhood before moving to Cherry Hills Village, ended up posting his offers of assistance on places like NextDoor and Facebook.

So far, he’s helped at least 65 people book an appointment while still balancing his classwork in New York.

“People are telling me stories about how they’re so excited to see blank’s birthday, their grandchild’s birthday, the grandchild that they never even met,” he said.

One of those people is Christopher Pryor. The 62-year-old Englewood resident became eligible for the vaccine on March 5 as part of phase 1B.3, but he quickly gave up searching for an appointment.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t try super hard because I got frustrated right off the get-go,” Pryor said.

But earlier this week, he saw Charlie’s post. And without any hesitation, he contacted him and provided him with all of the information he needed to book an appointment.

“Boom. Within an hour, he sent me back confirmations that he’d gotten it, and I was like, ‘Jeez, jeez, dude, that’s amazing,'” Pryor said.

Wallace’s random act of kindness got him emotional.

“The world needs more … people like him,” Pryor said.

When he’s fully vaccinated, he plans to travel so he can see his 87-year-old parents.

“I enjoy the solitude for sure, but the difficult part is not having the choice to hug people,” he said.

Wallace says he plans to recruit some of his Coloradan friends to help him find appointments for more people. He also plans to soon focus his efforts on underserved communities.