Courtney Sheridan’s grandmother received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in late January, but only after a lengthy time on a waitlist.
“She put her name on as many waitlists as she could find. We have family in New Jersey as well, so she even looked at options outside of Pennsylvania,” said Sheridan, a first-year computer science student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information. “She said she was much relieved and will be glad when the second dose is on board. She also felt fortunate to be able to get the vaccine.”
This experience helped highlight to her how challenging vaccine distribution and access can be.
To do something about it, Sheridan, three other Pitt computer science students and collaborators from Harvard University and Swarthmore College created VaccinatePA, a crowdsourced website that Pennsylvanians can use to find vaccination sites, rather than inundate hospitals and pharmacies with calls asking about vaccine availability.
The site contains information on clinics in every Pennsylvania county, and data is updated every day by volunteers. The site includes each clinic’s name, address and website, as well as notes on vaccine availability.