Monday, May 10, 2021

People are fed up with broken vaccine dating tools – so they build theirs

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In other words, the deployment of vaccines in the country has been complicated. Now desperate people are taking matters into their own hands.

Take Carri Carver. She had spent hours trying to find a date for her father, once he qualified for a vaccine under Texas rules. He visited several local pharmacies listed on the state’s official website, none of which had vaccines yet. Some told him to “come back later and ask again”.

“I was like, ‘That’s a terrible answer,’” Carver says. “It’s going to be a challenge for him. He is in very good health and belongs to the youngest age group. What about people who are older or who cannot travel to check [for vaccines]? “

That same day, Jan. 2, Carver worked from 3 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. at night to create Covid19 TX vaccine, a site listing possible vaccination locations across the state. As a digital product designer, she knew that a site like this should be easy to read, intuitive to navigate, and quick to update. The idea was that people could download information from vaccination sites, with each entry answering three questions: Was the vaccine available on that day? Did the place make appointments? Was there a waiting list?

Carver uploaded the project to cloud-based spreadsheet service Airtable, posted a link on Reddit, and went to bed. When she woke up the next morning at 7 a.m., an entry was filled. “At least someone cares,” she recalls thinking. She spent the rest of the day manually entering information for approximately 1,400 locations across the state. “I’ve been going non-stop ever since,” she says, estimating that she devotes about 40 hours of her free time each week to maintaining the site. It has received a total of 50,000 visitors since its launch.

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