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