BUFFALO, N.Y. — As the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens up to more New Yorkers, many continue to report problems with finding an appointment in their area.
Tuesday evening, the University at Buffalo launched a new website called "WNY Vaccine Hound," which aims to help Western New Yorkers find vaccine appointments.
Graduate students, faculty and staff from UB's School of Management helped develop the tool, which searches more than 100 different sites each day to keep tabs on any open slots in our five-county region. The website is run by volunteers who, according to the Vaccine Hound website, "search for potential COVID vaccine appointments by checking local government, healthcare, and pharmacy websites right here in Western New York."
When appointments are found in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie or Niagara counties, WNY Vaccine Hound provides a link to that provider so you can make an appointment. It also has a waitlist page, which shows a list of providers that are offering a waitlist for when the vaccine is available.
"It's half automated, half human," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, senior associate dean for health policy at UB's medical school. "It will scrub all the sites of places that have vaccine available every hour automatically. And then it will be curated by human beings, volunteers at UB, to help people find where there is vaccine.
"It won't make an appointment for them, but it will save them from having to call every pharmacy, every doctor, every county health department, driving to Potsdam, all of those things."
Click here to check out the website.