Securing a vaccination appointment has been challenging for people across the country, with different issues for almost every community, leaving many frustrated and mad, so a Virginia eighth grader channeled his frustration to help others get a shot even though he won't be eligible for his own dose for months.
“It just makes me feel happy that I’m able to help this great community,” said 14-year-old Sawyer Thompson of Alexandria.
Sawyer became frustrated after seeing an NBC Nightly News report last month about how people were having a tough time making COVID-19 vaccine appointments for their family members.
“It was just upsetting that like this system was like that. Like, you shouldn’t have to sit in front of a computer or on a 1-800 number for the entire day with no guarantee of getting a vaccine appointment,” he said.
He used his computer-coding skills to help, creating DMVVaccine.com. It combines vaccine portals in D.C., Maryland and Virginia in a one-stop shop to book vaccine appointments on one website.
“The issue with the current, like, layout before, this was, like, you had to have 10 different websites at the same time, constantly refreshing,” Sawyer said.
The vaccinated population in D.C. may be overestimated in this map because some non-residents who work in D.C. are included in the totals.
The site provides a live Twitter feed, notifying people when appointments become available.
Sawyer is getting positive feedback.
“Your feed helped us go from complete despair and frustration hammering these websites multiples times a day to getting our family members over 65 registered within an hour,” one person tweeted.
Clarice Everett and her mom, Lucinda, who both work in health care, applaud Sawyer.
“That’s amazing,” Everett said. “It means the world.”
“We need everybody to get these shots, and the easier, the better,” her mother said.