“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services have rolled out a service allowing people to find COVID-19 vaccines available nearby via text message.”
“The text-line will launch alongside Vaccines.gov – a revamped version of VaccineFinder.org that similarly allows users to search for available vaccine doses by ZIP code – and a to-be-released 1-800 number to help those who prefer to get information via phone.”
“‘As we work to increase access to the COVID-19 vaccines, these tools will eliminate burdens and help make it easier to find vaccination sites,’ said Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy in a statement provided to Healthcare IT News.”
“Although the site officially went live on May 1, some users – including members of the Healthcare IT News team – reported downtime on Monday as more individuals tried to use the tool.”
WHY IT MATTERS
“According to the agencies, anyone can now text their ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, to get the contact information of three locations near them with available vaccines. The tool is aimed at key populations, such as young people or those with limited broadband connectivity who might prefer SMS-based messaging.”
“HHS representatives did not respond to questions about which vendor was hosting the text-based service.
Meanwhile, the agencies also announced the conversion of VaccineFinder.org – a project first launched by Boston Children’s Hospital, Castlight and the CDC – to a new site, Vaccines.gov.”
“The agencies say that they have worked with jurisdiction and pharmacy partners to increase data reporting to include information for all states…” Read the full article here.
Source: Biden administration rolls out COVID-19 vaccine text-line — By Kat Jercich, May 3, 2021. Healthcare IT News.