Website developer helps people find vaccination appointments
Do-it-yourself approach gaining some momentum
THANKS TO THE ingenuity of a software developer on maternity leave, the state may be improving its public website for scheduling COVID-19 vaccines.
Olivia Adams, 28, developed her own website, which assembles vaccine appointment slots from multiple sources into a single, one-click spot where people 75 and over can sign up to get the shot.
“My mother-in-law was having trouble booking an appointment for her vaccine, and then had the same trouble when she was trying to get her father vaccinated,” wrote Adams on her website. “I kept hearing the same frustrations over and over – from family, from friends, and on the news. The sign-up process was too confusing, too disjointed.”
As an Athenahealth software developer on leave, she had the skills to try to resolve the issue, so she launched a free, user-friendly site on February 5.
“The response was more than I could have imagined. Clearly this website is filling a serious void needed for the residents of the Commonwealth,” wrote Adams.
Adams reached out to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services about her website last week, but didn’t hear back until a reporter with NBC10 Boston asked the governor about it on Friday. A call is scheduled for later this week.
Adams is fundraising on GoFundMe to supplement the costs of hosting and developing the site, and has pulled in $24,000 of a $50,000 goal so far.
“After spending hours and days trying to find an appointment, your link enabled me to schedule within less than 10 minutes,” wrote Pamela Giovannini on the GoFundMe page. “I think the state of Massachusetts should reimburse you as well.”Another man said he’s been trying to get his 83-year-old father-in law an appointment since the state launched its site. It only took five minutes on Adams’ site, said Glenn Fiore, and he was able to find a slot for next week.
Adams is not the only one taking a do-it-yourself approach to fixing the crunch for finding vaccination appointments. The Boston Globe reported that another group is providing some friendly competition to Adams by launching another website helping people locate appointments.