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Colorado guy creates website listing open COVID vaccine appointments

When Nick Muerdter heard the frustrations from friends about getting vaccines for loved ones, he put his coding skills to work to create a database for Coloradans.

DENVER — Thousands of eligible Coloradans have already gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, though many people in Phase 1 of the state plan continue to search for an open appointment.

It's been a test of patience for senior citizens who sign up on multiple waitlists and then have nothing to do but wait for their turns. 

Nick Muerdter, a web developer in Golden, kept hearing about his coworkers' frustrations after they tried to help their family members with scheduling. So, he decided to help, too.

“It was sort of an idea to do – something,” he said. “I basically sort of thought, well, it might be easier if we could at least see all the schedules in one place.”

Muerdter created his own web page that simplifies the appointment search process. Essentially, he scraped data from the websites of pharmacies, removed some clicking and other tedious steps and put the information in one central place. Visitors to his page can look around and see which appointments are available.

“I always like automating things, so if I can automate something, I’ll always try to do that,” Muerdter said. “It’s sort of like a puzzle, and I always like those types of things.”

Credit: 9NEWS
Nick Muerdter

His page won't show every possible open slot in a given area. Muerdter kept it to just pharmacies, though his data scraper was already blocked by one company. There's always a chance that could happen again.

Though, the page has at least one fan: Gov. Jared Polis.

He thanked Muerdter for his work on Reddit and shared the database on his own social media.

There are no plans to implement a state-run online portal where Coloradans could register for a COVID vaccine appointment.

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In 9NEWS’ Vaccine Facts town hall earlier this month, Polis said the state considered the pros and cons of having one designated space for that. Ultimately, they decided the process would be most efficient if handled by providers.

“We have a great system of private providers in our state – hospitals, pharmacies, community health clinics. We wanted to take advantage of that, not reinvent the wheel,” the governor said.

Muerdter encourages people to always check the state website first to make sure they have the most updated vaccine information.

"This isn’t the only solution, but if this could be one part of helping people find vaccines that are available, then I think that’s great," he said.

You can visit his page by clicking here.

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