A 28-year-old software engineer has created a website that alerts users when Pfizer vaccine reservations are available in Sydney.
Fraser Hemphill said the idea came to him after spending time with a fellow nurse who was struggling to book the vaccine through four different booking portals.
“I watched her reload the page over and over again until she tried to find one and couldn’t book it because someone intervened,” he said.
“I thought it could definitely be easier.”
Fraser devised a web script that would help his friend immediately find vaccine reservations.
“I sent it to friends and they loved it … and got a lot of positive feedback on how they were able to book their shots very quickly,” he said.
He thought it might help other people who are having trouble booking as well and set up a website for it called covidqueue.com.
“I put it on Reddit hoping it would help other people, and then it blew up from there,” Fraser said.
Since posting about it on Sunday, Fraser said his site had 80,000 unique visitors and 50,000 people clicked a link to go to one of the government’s vaccine booking portals.
The service is free and operates by constantly checking the booking portals at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital or Sydney Olympic Center. Users only need to click on “Get in Line” and once a time and date is available the site will play a sound.
“Once available, [you] can go to the corresponding government portal and make a reservation quickly rather than having to sit there and reload over and over again, ”said Fraser.
The Sydneysider said his motivation for creating the website was frustration with the current reservation system and the desire to get out of lockdown as quickly as possible.
“My family is in Queensland and I can’t see my newborn niece… so I can’t wait to get out of the lockdown,” he said
“I’m just trying to help everyone get vaccinated as quickly as possible, [and] try to solve the problem rather than just curse the situation we find ourselves in. “
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked about the website at a press conference today and said he was working to improve reservation systems.
“We are working closely with states and territories to try to refine best practices in these systems,” he said.
“But I’ve also seen examples of bookings the next day. I mean, there are a lot of opportunities for AstraZeneca right now in a few days, so it’s variable but we’re working to make it as consistent as possible.”
Vaccination has now become Australia’s frontline strategy to defeat the Delta variant of COVID-19.
During today’s press conference, Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian revealed that she wants six million jabs to be administered in NSW by the end of August. We’re currently sitting at around 3.9 million doses.
“Six million jabs is about half the population with at least one or two doses,” she said.
“It gives us additional options for what life is like on August 29th.”
The Prime Minister has indicated that some lockdown restrictions in and around Greater Sydney could be relaxed if NSW meets that target.
Despite the convenient site, the Pfizer jab is still hard to find for young Australians who are not eligible for it. But you can get AstraZeneca after a discussion with your GP or at clinics across Sydney.