Coronavirus Vaccines Finder: Who creates, Access, Aiming
|Coronavirus Vaccines Finder. Photo: wwlp|
The Centers for Disease Control has launched a website to help Americans find locations of COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to increase the pace of vaccinations. Also, the Biden administration is set to release a U.S. intelligence assessment on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives. And, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy faced heavy criticism in a House committee hearing about ongoing mail delays at the U.S. Postal Service, according to NPR.
Who Creates Coronavirus Vaccine Finder Website
A Coloradan created a website that helps people find COVID-19 vaccine appointments at pharmacies.
Nick Muerdter, a computer programmer, decided to use his skills to help his fellow Coloradans after hearing about all the difficulties they've had to face when trying to make appointments.
Many Coloradans are waiting for notifications from health centers about when they are eligible to make an appointment, but they check pharmacy websites daily. Muerdter said he wanted to make that process easier.
Muerdter decided to develop the tool in his spare time, just to help his fellow Coloradans, Patch reported.
How it works
Instead of people having to click through every pharmacy website to check for appointments, Muerdter's search tool crawls the sites and checks for new appointments. You just need to click the "Check for New Appointments" button in the top right of the website for the page to refresh.
The tool searches CVS, Pharmaca, Safeway, Albertsons, Walgreens, Sam's Club, Walmart and other pharmacies.
Unfortunately, due to limited supply, the vaccine appointments are often snatched up within minutes.
"An appointment will show up here on the tool, and by the time they go to the pharmacy's website and enter their details, the appointment slot is gone. So there's still a lot of competition, and it's still not perfect, but it can still be a tool in people's toolbox to make this process easier."
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When the word spread about Muerdter's search tool, many reached out to thank him, including Gov. Jared Polis.
"I love this kind of innovation! People-powered innovation to ensure we can get as many Coloradans vaccinated as possible, is greatly appreciated as this is an all-hands-on-deck effort," the governor said in a Facebook post. "If you're 65 or older, I encourage you to contact your health care provider and make a vaccine appointment."
The process to upgrade the vaccine finder website is ongoing, Muerdter said. But he's already helped many Coloradans receive their first dose.
Around 125 million doses are set for delivery in the U.S. over the next month, the Biden administration said.
"Where we were hundreds of millions of doses short on supply just one month ago, we're now on track to have enough supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July," President Joe Biden said in his exclusive Patch op-ed published Friday.
Roles of Coronavirus Vaccine Finder Website
CDC reported that VaccineFinder serves two roles in the COVID-19 vaccination program:
- Inventory reporting (required for all COVID-19 vaccination providers): Providers report on-hand COVID-19 vaccine supply each day through the VaccineFinder COVID Locating Health Provider Portal (https://covid.locating.health/loginexternal icon).
- Share information about COVID-19 vaccinating locations (optional for COVID-19 vaccination providers): It is optional for vaccine providers to display their location to the public. COVID-19 vaccination providers that will be receiving vaccines may choose to make their location publicly visible on VaccineFinder, making it easier for the public to find information about locations that carry COVID-19 vaccines and learn how to make an appointment.
- Providers who wish to display their locations to the public on VaccineFinder.org are highly encouraged to include a weblink to an eligibility screener or appointment scheduler, to help direct people to the appropriate next steps for getting vaccinated at their location(s).
- VaccineFinder will be set to NOT display locations to the public by default. Providers must choose to activate their sites.
- Inventory quantities will never be displayed to the public. Instead, the system simply lets users know that there is inventory in stock.
- Vaccines are available by appointment, so users are encouraged to use links or follow directions for next steps providers by each site.
According to The New York Times, Coronavirus Vaccine Finder Aims To Help Americans Get Shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hoping to make it easier for Americans to find Covid-19 vaccines, is backing the test of a centralized online portal where the public can search for nearby vaccination locations with doses on hand. The website, called VaccineFinder, is run by Boston Children’s Hospital with the help of several collaborators. It grew out of the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009 and has been used for years to coordinate the distribution of flu and childhood vaccines. It expanded on Wednesday to include the availability of coronavirus vaccines at more than 20,000 locations, concentrated in several states.
The scramble COVID-19 vaccine
The scramble to secure a COVID-19 vaccine appointment is chaotic and fierce. There are not yet enough doses for everyone who's eligible and wants to get vaccinated. As frustration rises, the federal government hasn't offered much besides assurances that things will get better and appeals for calm. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with Boston Children's Hospital and Castlight Health, is launching a new tool that allows Americans to search for COVID-19 vaccine providers with a stock of vaccine where they live. The tool, which builds on the existing VaccineFinder.org platform, will capture inventory data from vaccine providers around the country, according to KHN.
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