Going out to one of her favorite restaurants in Astoria is more enjoyable for Courtney Aportela now that she has been fully vaccinated for three weeks.
“I feel safer, I do it, 100%,” Aportela said.
But getting an appointment for a vaccine was not easy at first.
“Click on dates, make them disappear in seconds, and I’m like, ‘This is so frustrating,’” Aprtela explained.
She eventually went to the TurboVax website. Within minutes, she had a date.
“It was amazing. I had a bit of a tight schedule so it was hard for me to go there at all times, but TurboVax gave me so many options that I found it. worked well, ”Aportela said.
After helping what he believes are hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers book their dates, TurboVax creator Huge Ma announced on social media Tuesday that he was shutting down his site. As the vaccine is now more easily accessible without an appointment, its work is essentially finished.
“It has been a real honor to serve you all, but the need for TurboVax has come and gone. Thank you for all of your support over the past few months, ”Ma tweeted.
Ma is a software engineer for Airbnb. He started TurboVax after struggling to make an appointment for his mother. His website tracked dozens of immunization sites across town and tweeted appointments available throughout the day. He explained to NY1 in February how blown away he was with the response.
“Working at TurboVax is hard work, but I think all the support has really helped me keep going,” Ma said when NY1 interviewed him in February.
New Yorkers who got their date through the site expressed their appreciation on Twitter. Aportela was also grateful.
“Thank you for taking the time and creating this amazing website,” said Aportela.
With appointments now readily available, the next challenge for the city is convincing those who are reluctant to get vaccinated.