As Iowa’s supply of vaccines continue to increase from the federal government, many Iowans are searching everywhere they can online to find out where to acquire them. Last week, the state opened up vaccines to those under 65 years of age with a certain medical or health condition. Just today, Polk County announced that they would have enough supply to get to that stage starting on March 15.
One new tracking option that popped up in the last day is this automated Twitter account called IAVaccineAlerts. It tweets out locations of available vaccine appointments when it finds them, though it notes that openings often get taken up quickly.
Algona Hy Vee… Mason City #2 Hy Vee… Leon Clinic Hy Vee… Keokuk Hy Vee… Toledo Dollar Fresh Hy Vee… Davenport #2 Hy Vee… @ 2021-3-11 14:37:39
— Iowa Vaccine Alerts (@IAVaccineAlerts) March 11, 2021
The person who runs the Twitter account is Brian Finley, a web developer who lives in Iowa City.
“I started it because when trying to find vaccines for myself and some close family that were included in the new March 8 guidelines, I got frustrated with having to search random cities to try and find open appointments,” Finley told Starting Line. “I found some online resources that were pulling data together into an easier format, and after getting my family shots, I wanted to find a way to get that info into the hands of the others trying to get the vaccine.”
“It’s all automated,” he added. “Various groups and projects have sprung up to aggregate the data in a format easily readable by computers, and so I just poll a few different places every few minutes and alert of any changes.”
Several Starting Line readers in various counties reported today that they used the Twitter feed to find, schedule and receive their shot in the same day.
We also noticed other readers sharing this website, VaccineSpotter.org, which provides a helpful map of the state and which cities and vaccine distribution sites have available vaccines. It’s updated by the minute.
You can enter in your own zip code there, or simply look through the full state list and map.
by Pat Rynard
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