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Pennsylvania Scraps Its Vaccine Finder Tool In Favor Of Sleeker Federal Version

A screenshot of Pennsylvania's vaccine finder map from January, 2021.
Pennsylvania Department of Health
A screenshot of Pennsylvania's vaccine finder map from January, 2021.

Pennsylvania’s much criticized COVID-19 vaccine provider map is no more.

The state’s Department of Health is directing people to find vaccinations through the federal government’s Vaccine Finder tool. Like the state’s defunct resource, the Vaccine Finder is also an online map. But unlike Pennsylvania’s map, Vaccine Finder lists what providers have which vaccines in stock.

With the provider map, Pennsylvanians had to reach out to the individual pharmacies and medical clinics displayed on the map to learn if doses were in stock. The process was panned as cumbersome, especially for older Pennsylvanians and anyone without easy access to technology.

The old tool’s design prompted calls for Pennsylvania to create a more centralized COVID vaccine distribution system; something that is arguably no longer needed due to the abundance of unused doses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Pennsylvanians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 35% of residents are fully vaccinated. That includes kids under age 16 who are currently too young to receive the vaccine.

Sarah Boden covers health and science for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio. As a contributor to the NPR-Kaiser Health News Member Station Reporting Project on Health Care in the States, Sarah's print and audio reporting frequently appears on NPR and KFF Health News.