Vaccine Access

U.S. Digital Response (USDR) supports our partners’ vaccination campaigns by helping them communicate critical health information to residents and build robust vaccine infrastructure.

Our approach

USDR supports our partners to build trust in an environment of constantly evolving health information and misinformation. We do this through effective strategies that focus on our partner's audiences and communicate the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, all with the goal to help their residents get vaccinated.

In 2021, USDR recognized the challenges of quickly standing up appointment and inventory infrastructure to manage the vaccine rollout. In collaboration with the state of New Jersey, we created a unified vaccine appointment API and made it publicly available to other states, localities, and community organizations.

USDR can help with your vaccine distribution infrastructure by:

  • Building an appointment finder on top of our vaccine appointment API
  • Advising on technical decisions related to vaccine distribution
  • Adding surge capacity to tackle scaling or load issues
436 Million
Appointments tracked by USDR's
vaccine appointment finder api
6
Local health agencies that worked with USDR
to improve their website and social media communications

Selected case studies

Arizona Department of Health Services
Helping English- and Spanish-speaking residents sign up for vaccines

In the spring of 2021, the Arizona Department of Health Services was concerned by reports that its new vaccine portal required considerable tech-savvy to used. The department engaged USDR to conduct a qualitative research study to understand users’ experiences on the AZDHS vaccine patient portal.

USDR researchers conducted moderated and unmoderated usability testing sessions with 12 users in both English and Spanish. The team used the research insights to deliver design recommendations that enabled people to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments up to 16 minutes faster.

Read the full case study »Text Link
Team members
Hannah Brechtel
Research Associate
,
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Elham Ali
Former Health Technologist-In-Residence
,
U.S. Digital Response
Maria Chercoles
Senior Service Chercoles
,
Frog Design
Nationwide
Strategies to build trust in COVID communications

In late 2020, USDR conducted nationwide, primary, qualitative research to explore how at-risk and vulnerable communities receive critical COVID-19 information and how community influencers can help amplify and extend the reach of government messaging.

USDR researchers interviewed 80+ individuals and surveyed 1,500+ more to help understand sentiments, habits, and gaps in how people may think through choices and information. The research revealed how governments and organizations can best support trusted community leaders (“translators”) who act as critical nodes of communication amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The goal of this research was to inform thinking and decision-making for creators of COVID-19 communications strategies, provide a framework for prioritizing key information, and share what people have to say about navigating health information.

Read the full case study »Read more about this project »
Team members
Amulya Aradhyula
UX Researcher
,
LinkedIn
Courtney Pitman
Co-Founder
,
Runaway Research
Kaela Gallo
UX Research Lead
,
Propel
Stephanie Nguyen
Research Scientist
,
MIT
Pueblo Department of Public Health & Environment
Improving vaccine webpage content and design

Pueblo County needed to quickly communicate ever-changing COVID-19 information to the community while freeing up staff time to address other local concerns. The County wanted to update its website to be informative and accessible, with a particular focus on how to get a vaccine.

The USDR team partnered on a user experience and content audit of Pueblo County’s COVID-19 pages. The audit provided tactical design and communication recommendations that addressed navigation, content organization, plain language, visual design, and taxonomy. Using those recommendations, the team then designed new responsive webpages and mobile experiences for the County.

Read the full case study »Read more about this project »
Team members
Edward Alton
Senior UX Designer
,
Ad Hoc
Micah Mitrux
Project Delivery Lead
,
Code for BTV
Andrew Hsieh
Content Design
,
Meta
Pilar Strutin-Belinoff
Product Manager
,
Prepared Parents
Left
Right

“The Arizona Department of Health Services commissioned U.S. Digital Response to conduct a qualitative bilingual research study on the usability of our Vaccine Management Patient Portal. They rapidly responded with a team of people that had the necessary skill sets to initiate this process, conduct this research, and provide their insights and design recommendations all in a matter of a few weeks.

Paula Mattingly
Assistant Director/CIO
Arizona Department of Health Services

“During a time of overwhelming communication flow for a crisis response, U.S. Digital Response responded quickly, providing a team of highly skilled and professional assistance to focus, simplify and streamline messaging on our website. ... Our website improved drastically for the community using it.

Holly Low
Public Information Officer
Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment

“With today’s launch of the finder’s beta version, we will continue to test and make improvements to the appointment finder, and we will welcome your input in this ongoing effort. ... I always want to thank some outside partners in this including CVS, Epic, Zocdoc in the private sector as well as some volunteer groups including @NJ_vaccine on Twitter, vaccinatenj.com, and the U.S. Digital Response.

Phil Murphy
Governor
State of New Jersey
Left
Right

Current offerings

Vaccine Appointment Finders

USDR has collaborated with organizations at the federal, state, and local levels to develop vaccine finders that aggregate appointments to help people access vaccines.

Learn more about our work »
Vaccine Provider Guide

The guide provides frameworks for vaccination rollout and tips for evaluating tech tools, with the goal of helping vaccine providers make life-saving decisions, more quickly and easily.

Read the guide »
COVID-19 Communication Toolkit

This toolkit offers detailed, step-by-step guidance to help health communicators, content developers, educators, and health promotion leaders include health equity recommendations in COVID-19 communications.

Learn more about the toolkit »
Strategies to Build Trust in COVID Communications

We recently conducted nationwide primary, qualitative research to explore how at-risk and vulnerable communities receive critical COVID-19 information.

Access the research »
Don’t see what you need? Talk to us about a custom project.
We’re always looking to partner with governments on new solutions. Contact our team to discuss the problems you’re facing.
Contact us

Meet the team

Aston Motes
Aston Motes recently served as interim Executive Director of /dev/color, a nonprofit that empowers Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders. He was the first employee at Dropbox where he led engineering teams.
Elham Ali
Elham was the design and research lead for USDR’s Health Data program, with more than 9 years of experience in mixed-methods research and UX design. Elham worked in HIV informatics and substance use disorder with New York State and ICAP at Columbia.
Rob Brackett
Rob is an engineer on our Tools Team and was formerly the Engineering Lead for our Health Data Program. He’s an experienced civic technologist who recently worked with the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative.
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