Pitt students launch website to help people find COVID-19 vaccinations

PITTSBURGH — Trying to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination in Pennsylvania right now is frustrating, but a group of University of Pittsburgh students is trying to help by launching a new website, vaccinatepa.org.

It shows where vaccines are available, if you have to get an appointment or if you can just walk in. It also lists hospitals systems that say they have the vaccine but currently unavailable.

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“Pretty much every hospital, every clinic that we call says, ‘Oh my gosh. We are so flooded with calls.’ If this site would take off that would help us so much. Every day hundreds of people are calling the same hospital asking the same question and if we just had one single source of truth then it would solve so many problems for everyone,” said Pitt student Ming Wang.

Wang is a computer science major at the University of Pittsburgh who wanted to help solve the problem. He learned about a group of people crowdsourcing vaccine availability data for California.

He pulled together about 10 Pitt students and alum to collect this information for people in Pennsylvania. Ming also thinks the state vaccine portal isn’t very user friendly.

The website is not complete and Ming said they are working on some additional features, like a map.

If someone wants to volunteer to collect data for the website, Ming says you can e-mail them at vaccinatepa2021@gmail.com.

The thought of a one-stop-shop has been thrown around at the state level.

The Wolf Administration says that wouldn’t solve the problem. They say the problem is the supply.

The acting health secretary said they are working on improving the vaccine portal on the state’s website.