FindYourVaccine is a national COVID-19 vaccine finder, and it has expanded its live coverage to the state of Florida. FindYourVaccine shows up-to-date vaccine availability and eligibility for vaccine sites across our state.

The website, run entirely by volunteers, maps live updates for Floridians on which sites have the vaccine in stock, which are taking appointments and how to get in line.

“We started FindYourVaccine about three and a half weeks ago,” said Creator Dylan Alban. “Fletcher Heisler and I had both independently been following the vaccine rollout in different states and we were frustrated at the lack of a cohesive national vaccine portal, or any cohesion amongst the wildly different rollouts happening in each state. We figured that it would take time for a web-based federal resource to come online, and we wondered if there was something we could do in the meantime to help pick up the slack. So, we started FindYourVaccine as an all-volunteer project.”

The basics of the website were built over a weekend and launched with a basic summary page on current vaccine availability and eligibility in every state.

“From there, we realized we could dig in and help cover individual states more directly, so we launched our live coverage operation for Florida and, soon after, Colorado,” Alban said. “Our teams of volunteer callers reach out regularly to every vaccine provider in the state to check on current vaccine availability and eligibility. The results of each call go onto a searchable map of the Sunshine State.”

Volunteers for the website have been very busy keeping the information on the site current.

“Our volunteers are on the phone with providers in Florida and Colorado every day. We do our best to call every provider in each of our focus states at least twice a week and our development team is working hard to try to pull in more automated data from providers,” Alban said. “We are also working with Infinitus Systems, which developed a digital assistant to automate calls into some pharmacies for us using AI. The most common challenge we hear from our callers is just how difficult it is, sometimes, to get a live person on the other line at a provider site. It’s also hard to standardize; each site has its own challenges and often the site has to make its own internal prioritization of who gets its limited set of doses. We recognize that these providers are often overwhelmed with requests, and we hope that by centralizing efforts we can actually help cut down on the burden of answering so many calls every day.”

To learn more about FindYourVaccine, visit www.findyourvaccine.org.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.