- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched an online tool that lets you see which providers in your area have COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock.
- The tool is available on VaccineFinder.org, and for now, only residents of Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee can see the full list of the vaccine providers in their area.
- More providers in more states should be added to the website in the coming weeks.
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden celebrated a significant milestone as the US soared past 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. When he took office, Biden pledged to have 100 million Americans vaccinated within his first 100 days, but even with winter storms and logistical issues plaguing the distribution of the vaccines, the US is still weeks ahead of schedule. The pace could pick up even more quickly if Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is authorized for emergency use. J&J says it could start shipping millions of doses as early as Monday, March 1st.
This is all great news, but actually scheduling an appointment to get a shot is all but impossible for countless eligible Americans. Here in New York, many people are turning to a Twitter account called @TurboVax that notifies followers of appointment openings in real-time. If you aren’t prepared to click a link seconds after it is shared, you’re probably out of luck. This is an issue all over the country, but the CDC is working on a potential solution.
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As reported by NPR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched an online tool which should make it easier to find vaccine providers in your area. Built upon the existing VaccineFinder.org website in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital and Castlight Health, the tool offers “inventory data from vaccine providers around the country.” Most states only show providers that are receiving their vaccine supply directly from the federal government, but in Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee, you can see all of the hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, supermarkets, and other sites that are administering the vaccine, as well as how much stock they have.
John Brownstein, founder of VaccineFinder, tells NPR: “The idea is to show where COVID-19 vaccine providers [are] that are open to the public — how to contact them, how to book an appointment, and try to show the daily inventory status so people are clear where there’s vaccine and where there isn’t.” He also says that with the launch of the tool behind them, more providers in more states “are expected to join in the coming days and weeks.”
As NPR notes, many states have set up their own online lists, maps, and tools to get people set up with vaccination appointments, but those efforts are run by volunteers and need to be updated manually. Alternatively, VaccineFinder gathers stock data directly from healthcare providers, who are required to report inventory every 24 hours. Once the system is fully operational, it could be the most reliable way to find a vaccine near you.
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