New features coming to vaccine website in Fairfax County

As soon as Friday, Fairfax County's website could see new upgrades aimed at taking some hassle out of the coronavirus vaccine sign-up process.

The health department tells FOX 5 it is still working out the details, but Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity says the most-awaited feature will include a virtual queue, which would allow people registered to see where they are in line to make an appointment.

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Herrity says the site will also include updates to increase transparency, including a new dashboard featuring the number of doses the county is expected to receive each week. Users will also be able to remove themselves from the waitlist if they've been able to get a shot another way, for example from a hospital.

"The best thing people can do is follow their way through the queue and hopefully we'll get to them as quick as we can," Herrity said.

The technology upgrade comes as most states have struggled to execute common-sense online systems for vaccine registration and appointment sign-ups.

As first reported by the New York Times, an Airbnb software engineer Huge Ma created a website that automatically brings together information on open appointments across dozens of sign-up systems in New York state.

Ma says he created the site for about $50, something the state had not done, leaving people with a scattershot jungle of separate hospital, clinic, state and city appointment sites that were overwhelming to navigate.

Maryland and D.C. have also had complaints about websites that are overwhelming or at some point have underperformed.