Today we’re announcing an exciting update for VaccinateCA: we’re officially a nonprofit! This will allow us to double down on our efforts to get as many shots in arms as we can in the state of California. We wanted to reflect on what we’ve managed to accomplish in the last 42 days, and where we plan to focus for the next 40.

What we’ve achieved so far

We publish our progress every day. For today, we want to step back and look at the larger picture:

Total unique users who have visited 627k

Total # of calls made by our volunteers: 15,854 (that’s an average of 386 calls a day!)

Total # of locations we’ve discovered with the vaccine: 1,273

Our work has been featured by publications like the LA Times, the SF Chronicle, NBC News, NPR’s All Things Considered, Telemundo, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, the Washington Post, and countless local radio and broadcast stations throughout California.

We’ve launched English, Spanish, Tagalog, Simplified Chinese, and Korean versions of our website.

Most importantly, we have been able to help some Californians. Here are a few stories which have been shared with us:

We’ve learned a lot so far on this journey (you can read about it in our next blog post!). The state of play continues to evolve incredibly rapidly, with locations, eligibility, and availability changing on a daily — if not hourly — cadence. And although we’d all love to close up shop and get back to our day jobs, it looks like there’s still a need for our work going into the future.

What we’re focusing on next

  1. Improving our caller operations.

Our thesis is that calling people who know the ground truth — medical professionals who can give you a dose — is the fastest and most accurate way to figure out which locations have the vaccine, who can get it, and how. We’re working on improving how we onboard and equip our caller teams to make these calls—and finding better ways to target them so they are as impactful as possible.

2. Getting more data —and making better use of it.

We can target calls better, and better inform the public, if we are able to identify new leads for sources, new signals that locations may have gotten access to the vaccine, and new patterns in the call results we’re getting. We’ll be focusing some of our technical efforts on making sure we have the best inputs and analysis possible to guide our calls.

3. Making the public website—and our platform—even more helpful.

We ultimately help Californians by getting them reliable information which they can use to get vaccinated. Our primary distribution mechanism presently is our site. We are happy with the progress it has made, but know there are even more ways to make it more useful and accessible to the whole California community. We’ve got some exciting new features coming on this front—more soon.

4. Reaching and supporting more people.

Up til now, we’ve put most of our efforts towards building something useful. But we know the website is only helpful if it actually reaches people who need it. To that end, we’ll be spending more time engaging with community organizations, providing information to the formal response effort, sharing our learnings, developing educational materials for the public, and more proactively distributing the data and insights our work generates to help a great number of people get vaccinated faster. This blog is just a first step— there’s much more to come.

How to get involved

There are three ways to help us with our work:

  1. Volunteer

We need help from both callers and project volunteers! Calling is easy to do any day of the week, and we provide you with a simple script to follow, so there’s no guesswork in the process. Project volunteers can pitch in on technical, outreach, or even data entry projects — there’s something for everyone.

Sign up to help here:

2. Spread the word and help your loved ones!

If you have a loved one who is currently eligible for the vaccine, please consider sharing the website with them or helping them to make an appointment. We’re also grateful for any signal boost to your networks— whether that’s following us on social, sharing our content, or just passing along the site to your friends and colleagues. Every day matters, and every dose matters!

3. Come work with us.

As part of becoming an official nonprofit, we’ve hired a few paid staff, and we’re looking for a couple more. This is a different kind of job: your success in it could shorten the pandemic, and that will put us out of business. We want you to succeed quickly, and will pay salary / healthcare benefits so that you can keep your focus on that goal.

Our currently available positions include:

  • Executive Assistant — This role will support our organizers with calendar management, building internal systems and other critical operations. 2+ years of EA experience strongly preferred, ideally supporting a leader in a fast-paced, externally-focused role.
  • Analyst — we need an expert Google sleuth with the chops to dig through county and state websites, find new data sources to inform our calling efforts, and help synthesize insights for the team. Experience working with data, potentially in a research, consulting, or data journalism context, required.
  • Product Manager — Help define the roadmap for some of our most impactful properties, like the public-facing website and our data pipelines. 2+ years experience working on a consumer-facing web product preferred.

Thank you for all your support, and we can’t wait to show you what we’re up to next.