PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A team of Portland high school students has announced they are launching a free new tool to help the community find vaccine appointments.

The students are launching the Portland Student Pandemic Response Vaccine Finder. The texting tool can search by zip code to locate appointments available to book through local pharmacies.

To use the tool, people text "VACCINE" to 850-367-7033 and, when prompted, check their eligibility through the Oregon Health Authority. Next, they input their zip code, which is used to filter all available vaccine appointments at pharmacies. Users will receive a list of available vaccine appointments or a message to check back again later. The PSPR Vaccine Finder was coded by the students as an extension of a national open-source code project.

The students also formed a team called the PSPR Vaccine Ambassadors to get area teens involved in helping their friends, family, community, and themselves find appointments using the tool. Interested students review student-made videos covering COVID-19 vaccine basics before taking a short quiz to receive certification. Interested students can visit www.pspandemicresponse.com/pspr-vaccine-ambassadors.

"One year ago, we didn't know what to expect with the pandemic, but we knew we could help engage fellow students in serving the Portland community. This latest offering -- a student-built and coded tool together with student Vaccine Ambassadors helps is continuing our work," said Rye Scholin, executive director of PSPR.

For more information, visit www.pspandemicresponse.com.

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