Local software developer creates Twitter bot to help people find vaccine appointments

BOSTON (WHDH) - A local software developer has made a Twitter bot to help Massachusetts residents find available coronavirus vaccine appointments, instead of constantly refreshing the state’s website.

“Being notified when things become available is a lot easier for people,” said Dan Cahoon. “It looks at the same websites that you might be looking at if you were to schedule a Covid vaccine appointment yourself and what it does is it just automates that.”

Cahoon said he got the idea for the bot, which has the twitter handle of @vaccinetime, after watching his eligible colleagues struggle to find vaccine appointments online.

“[They were] sitting on the webpage, refreshing it over and over again and I thought ‘Hey I know how to write software and write bots,'” Cahoon said.

Right now the state’s site has an interactive map showing locations near the user. People then have to click on the links and search through other websites to book an appointment.

But Cahoon’s bot tweets out the number of available appointments at a vaccine site and has a link that followers can click to go directly to the site to sign up. He said he’s already gotten positive feedback.

“Seeing that feedback has been really nice because it seems to be like it is actually helping some people,” Cahoon said.

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