When we first started VaccinateCA, 100 days ago, finding a vaccination appointment was hard. This was partly because of overwhelming demand for the vaccine, but also because the system was fragmented. Eligibility varied by county. You had to call 20+ possible vaccine sites to find availability. We wanted to just capture basic information (Is this a vaccination site? How do you get an appointment? Who can get one?) and make it widely available to vaccine seekers.
A few months later, the landscape looks very different: everyone over 16 is eligible for a shot. More than 50% of Americans have gotten at least one dose. Appointments are more widely available in most regions, and many can be booked online.
But we’re nowhere near done.
It’s not enough to make people eligible — you also have to make it easy
Despite the perceived availability of the vaccine, many Americans are not yet able to access it effectively. They can’t get off work during available appointment hours. They lack transportation to vaccine locations. They cannot access information in languages they’re comfortable with. They are bewildered by multiple conflicting data sources.
Each of these problems, and every problem like them, deserves a solution. The pandemic will not be over in America until many more are vaccinated.
We are focused on reducing barriers to vaccination by distributing high-quality data on vaccine availability to wherever vaccine seekers will find it. On Google, at their county health department, in their community organizations, wherever—we seek to empower vaccine seekers and the people helping them get vaccinated.
What does this mean for VaccinateCA?
The rollout of Vaccinate The States beta does not mean that the standalone VaccinateCA is winding down. As of now, we are able to offer more information in our home state than other parts of the country, and we remain committed to providing the same level of coverage for California that we have from the beginning.
We will work over the next few weeks to bring our coverage level nationally to the standard we’ve achieved in California. There are still thousands of pins to put in the map.
We need your help to bring a swift end to the pandemic. As our CEO, Patrick McKenzie, explains in his blog post, it’s critical that we keep a sense of urgency about the vaccination effort. Now is the time to double down in our fight against COVID-19.
Learn more about ways you can help here.