Software Engineer Huge Ma Built a New Vaccine Appointment Website

Website is Accompanied by a Special Bot


From the New York Times

Bethany Scott, Staff Writer

Early in January, Huge Ma tried to make an appointment for his mother to receive the coronavirus vaccine. However, when he tried to make the appointment he was met with multiple websites that each used their own sign-up protocols. “‘There has to be a better way,’ he said he remembered thinking,”according to the New York Times. To combat this new issue, Ma decided to develop his own. In just two weeks, Ma developed a free website, TurboVax, which “compiles availability from the three main city and state New York vaccine systems and sends the information in real time to Twitter,” states the New York Times. The New York Times also states that this website had cost Ma less than fifty dollars to build and “offers an easier way to spot appointments than the city and state’s official systems do.” 

Not only did Ma develop the TurboVax website, but also a Twitter bot that “tweets whenever appointment slots open up at city- and state-run coronavirus vaccine sites in New York City,” according to Yahoo News. The bot itself was developed as a side project so the attention it was receiving was “quite literally overwhelming” according to Huge Ma on the TurboVax Twitter page. As of right now, Yahoo News states that “[t]he bot only serves New York City, and has no plans yet to expand to other areas. Some developers have offered Ma help, but he said he’s undecided about open-sourcing the project, which would allow other people to access the code and replicate the bot.”