GetMyVaccine provided vaccine appointment availability data for US residents from January 27, 2021 to May 14, 2021. As of mid-May, we are confident that supply has caught up with demand, and we suggest that all users find vaccine appointments at vaccines.gov.
Why retire the site?
While we’re proud of our availability coverage, it's limited to pharmacies. There are other options for vaccination and we want to be sure that users find the most convenient locations available, especially since vaccine hesitancy is an issue. Given the large supply and lessening demand, our view is that appointment availability is now equivalent to inventory. Traveling a mile vs. traveling a block could make a difference for users.
On another note, collecting data is expensive, and exhausting. We're grateful for community donations that were crucial for making this project viable. We're also grateful for our providers who reimbursed fees when we experienced high traffic.
Is the site totally gone?
We're keeping a snapshot version running for archival purposes. You can access the UI here.
Nationwide and worldwide, we've come a long way. We all have a lot of work to do still. If you have an idea that you think we can help with, we're eager to hear it. Please reach out to us on Twitter or by email. No idea is too out there.
We're inspired by projects like @india_vac that continue the mission of helping all willing individuals get vaccinated as swiftly as possible. In addition to public health, we're interested in looking at campaign finance and sustainability.
This project hit all the sweet spots: public health emergencies, unusable user experiences, and corporate incompetence. Our mission is to build projects that holds the purveyors of red tape accountable.
I'm going to move to the first-person singular for this. This is the most motivating (and time-consuming) project I've ever worked on. It's been the honor of my career to date.
I've developed a kinship with collaborators who I've met only over Zoom calls and Twitter DMs. What a weird year. Anyway, here are some shoutouts to these fine people. First off, I'll mention the folks who were critical to GetMyVaccine specifically:
I call Steve an advisor, but in the early days he was more of a partner. When the site went down due to spikes in traffic, I turned to Steve for his guidance. When data collection came to a halt, I turned to him as well. But Steve wasn't just there for emergencies, he's been a good friend who understands the work and trials that come with it. Steve, thanks for making this possible for our project and for our users. Til' our next project.
Dr. Feigl-Ding is a champion of public health. I messaged Dr. Feigl-Ding about the urgency of this project on Twitter, as a cold call. That evening he sent out a thread about GetMyVaccine, and that turned the project into something a lot bigger than it was. Prior to his tweet, he workshopped the project for two hours with me — giving feedback on how to make it better. Everything from epidemiological feedback to UI feedback — this all struck me as thankless work on his part, so I'm thanking him now. Forever grateful.
Rachel encouraged me to step away from my scraping and try to get the word out about GetMyVaccine. And then she kickstarted that work. Thanks for everything, Rach!
Adam developed formal messaging for agencies and press. I learned a lot from his experience and am grateful. Thanks Gibbs!
In addition to building a top-notch site, David connected our teams through the "Covid Collective". It was a huge sigh of relief to find peers working on the same problem, and to put our heads together to work on it as a team. In addition to the efficiency it sparked, GetMyVaccine felt less alone in the work. It went a long way. He spearheaded our collaboration and furthered awareness, all while building his own vaccine site (while pursuing an MBA degree!). Simply put, David's a rock star.
Nick is the most knowledgeable and inspiring programmer in this effort. Bar none, this guy is a top notch engineer. Nick can take the hardest problems and simply solve them. When scrapers were blocked, GetMyVaccine used his data on an almost embarrassing level. The guy isn't just brilliant, he's got unrelenting grit and empathy. Someone give him an award, damnit.
Big shoutouts to the awesome people/teams we've worked with, and who've inspired/helped the national effort. This doesn't cover the Discord and Slack channels, and apologies if I missed anyone:
To all followers and supporters: I am so grateful! Your messages and emails helped us to make GetMyVaccine a better tool for users. And special thanks to the volunteers who used the site to book vaccines for others. Cheers.