VaccineFinder.org was created by Boston Children's Hospital with the help of several collaborators and previously used to coordinate distribution of flu and childhood vaccines after launching in response to the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, the New York Times reports.
On Wednesday (February 25), the website expanded to include the listings of more than 20,000 locations in several states offering COVID-19 vaccines. The website's developers plan to expand it nationwide in the coming weeks if the program is successful and all vaccine providers agree to be featured, the Times reports.
“We’re trying to create a trusted site and bring some order to all this chaos and confusion around availability,” said John Brownstein, a Boston Children’s Hospital researcher who runs VaccineFinder, via the Times.
The website doesn't allow U.S. residents to book appointments, rather, directs people to other portals where they can try to register for the vaccine. It also doesn't address several other key issues, most notably the limited supply of doses, which is stopping more people from getting vaccinated.
There's also a possible risk that another vaccine website could create more confusion.
“It’s not a tool that’s going to necessarily make things easier for people to get the vaccine,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, via the Times. “They’re going to see where vaccine is, but they’re still going to have challenges trying to get an appointment.”
The vaccination plan hit a snag early, but the CDC reports 17% of adults have received a first dose and 7.6% are fully vaccinated, which puts the United States on track to meet President Joe Biden's promise of at least 100 million vaccine doses administered within his first 100 days in office, which he's since raised to 150 million doses.
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