The (excuse my wording here) race to see the majority of Australians vaccinated by the end of the year is picking up steam – thanks to the enthusiasm of young Aussies, might I add – but the rough reality in Sydney, in particular, is that access to Pfizer vaccines is hard to come by.
The latest news in this space is that as of August 30, 2021, Aussies aged 16 to 39 will be considered eligible for Pfizer vaccinations. However, even if you’re proven eligible, (something you can check here) folks have been struggling to access Pfizer appointments to actually get jabs in arms. This is just one of the many hurdles Aussies have experienced during this bungled COVID-19 rollout.
Seeing that anxiety is rising and young Aussies are feeling increasingly eager to source vaccines, one Redditor decided to do their part to help offer something of a solution.
As our pals at Pedestrian recently reported, Redditor handshakerefuser developed a website titled Covid Queue, designed to alert Sydney folks when Pfizer appointment becomes available nearby. The website has now been updated to offer alerts across Sydney, Newcastle and Victoria for both Pfizer and AstraZeneca appointments.
An additional link has been added to help service Aussies aged 16+ in hard-hit LGAs in Sydney, too.
The software engineer behind the website, Fraser Hemphill, spoke with Business Insider Australia about his decision to build the site this week. He shared that it came from his personal experience struggling to book the vaccine, as well as that of a nurse friend of his.
“She showed me how she was continuously reloading four different gov. sites hoping for an available time slot,” Hemphill told Business Insider Australia via email.
“I knew I could automate this and help her find one more easily so I whipped up a script and she was able to find a booking immediately,” he said.
How does Covid Queue work?
It’s pretty simple, really. The website continuously runs through available vaccine appointments at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Camperdown, St Vincent Hospital in Darlinghurst, Westmead Hospital, and the vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park. It now does the same for the Belmont Hub in Newcastle, and a series of vaccine locations across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
It will sound off with a bell (it’s pretty loud) when one appointment is available and you’ll hear a double ding when there are two vaccine appointments (three to six weeks apart for Pfizer and four to 12 weeks apart for AstraZeneca) ready for you to book.
How can I book myself a Pfizer vaccine from the website?
Scrolling down the website will show you a list of all the vaccine slots you can theoretically book, categorised by date and time (note: most of these are currently sitting in October for NSW at this point).
From here you can click on the “book” button and it will bring you to the NSW government’s vaccination hub where you can start the process of securing your spot.
You can visit the Covid Queue website here.
It’s worth noting that while Pfizer alerts are super handy, particularly for those who cannot have the AstraZeneca jab, it is considerably easier to register for the AZ vaccine if you’d like to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Details on that, for those who may be considering making a booking, can be found here. Be sure to chat with your doctor about whether AstraZeneca is the right choice for you.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a little while back that if Greater Sydney wants to see out of this current lockdown, we need to reach a target of 6 million vaccinated people by the end of August. It’s also been reported that NSW may introduce a Freedom Plan, offering access to gyms and restaurants to fully vaccinated people once the state’s vaccination rate hits 70 per cent.
This follows the news that Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced vaccination targets for Australia, with a goal of reopening international travel once 80 per cent of Aussies are vaxxed.
This article has been updated with additional information since its original publish date.