VaccineFinder online portal launches to help Americans
Many have been frustrated with the vaccine roll out, but this website could be your saving grace
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)- The COVID-19 vaccine rollout across the country hasn’t gone flawlessly, leaving many Americans frustrated.
There are limited vaccine supplies and high demand, so state-run websites are being overwhelmed. In Nebraska, the state’s vaccine registration website saw 54,000 signups on the first day.
CHECK IT OUT: Nebraska vaccine website sees 54,000 signups on 1st day
But an online portal that launched earlier in the week could ease things up for a lot of people. It’s called VaccineFinder, and it has the support of the CDC.
VaccineFinder comes from Dr. John Brownstein, the chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital and an ABC News contributor, he runs the site in partnership with Boston Children’s and Castlight Health.
VaccineFinder’s goal is to help the public health system in the vaccine distribution process.
“The idea here is to provide, at the national scale, a source of truth, in terms of where the vaccine is in communities, and create a jumping-off point for people to figure out where to go, when to go, to figure out specific details of hours of operation, and therefore, at least reduce one step in people’s search for vaccines,” Brownstein said.
This isn’t a new website though. It was originally created by Brownstein nine years ago in response to the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009.
“Of course, everyone wanted it, and there was a need to help bring clarity to consumers about where the vaccine was in the community,” Brownstein said.
Once the coronavirus made itself known, VaccineFinder was updated and built to create the COVID-19 vaccine site it is now.
“Essentially, since December, we’ve been operating where vaccine providers register with our system, and also put in their daily inventory information, so we have clarity on where all the supply is at the provider level for the country,” Brownstein said.
The website will allow users to see all available vaccine providers in their area and to see who has available appointments.
The VaccineFinder works with the national pharmacy program to include vaccine availability statuses at 20,000 locations in America.
“What we’re hoping to do is to remove at least one or two steps in people’s really painful journeys in finding vaccines. And over time, we are going to keep adding features to provide the best possible experience,” Brownstein explained. “By improving convenience, you can drive uptake. Anything we can do to make it as simple as possible, the greater the chance that someone will get this vaccine.”