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Iowa City web developer creates Twitter account to help Iowans find COVID-19 vaccine appointments

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (NBC News) - Getting a vaccine has proven to be a challenge for many of us, but an Iowa man is trying to make it easier with a Twitter page that's gone viral.

The goal of the page is to get as many people signed up as possible.

"Just like everybody else, I was trying to find a vaccine for me and my family. I became eligible when they opened up the criteria on the eighth. So trying to find a vaccine that everyone has had trouble with, I had the same kind of trouble," said Brian Finley, the creator of @IAVaccineAlerts.

Due to this frustration with getting a COVID-19 vaccine, the Iowa City web developer decided to get creative.

"That seemed to get pretty frustrating pretty quick and so I dug into the code on the Hy-Vee website and as well as other web developers that had come up with that info nationwide and was able to find a way to search the entire state at once," said Finley.

Finley then decided to help fellow Iowans get connected with a Twitter page. The page, IA Vaccine Alerts, automatically tweets every time there's an available vaccine appointment at a Hy-Vee, Walgreens or CVS across Iowa, all in real-time.

"The Twitter page will send out a city location and at that particular moment that means that Hy-Vee has appointments available so people will need to run to that website and finish filling out the forms," said Finley.

Anyone wanting to get alerts can click the bell icon to get real-time updates.

"They often go pretty quick a lot of those appointments only last a couple of minutes," said Finley.

The Iowa Twitter page launched one week ago and now it has over 20,000 followers.

Brian's also created vaccine alert Twitter pages for Illinois, Minnesota and soon Nebraska and Missouri.

"I still don't feel deserving of all the compliments that people send me, it still makes me uncomfortable because you know I just saw a need to help," said Finley.

You can check out Finley's vaccine alert page here.

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Dean Welte

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