Dayi Lin, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher, Data Science and Software Engineering

VaccineBotTO

VaccineBotTO is a Twitter bot (@to_vaccine) that periodically checks community popup clinic booking websites in West and Downtown East Toronto (under Unity Health Toronto). It focuses on available slots for 18+ people residing in eligible Toronto postal codes.

Another sister project, Vaccine Tracker Ontario (@VacTrackOntario), tracks the vaccination progress in Ontario. An update is tweeted automatically daily. The data is obtained from Ontario Data Catalogue.

Open Data

On May 9, 2021, the historical data collected by the bot is made publically available, to enable the community to freely conduct analysis on this interesting dataset.

The data is offered in two formats (both are updated in real-time by the bot):

Backstory

The bot was developed as a weekend project, out of my own frustration with the booking systems from my booking experience. The first version was released on Apr 18, 2021, and without any self-promotion, it somehow accumulated hundreds of followers within a week. After the Toronto Star media coverage, it reached 3k+ followers in the following weeks.

More about the backstory can be read from the Toronto Star media coverage, or the Twitter thread without the paywall.

I was also interviewed by the Kelly Cutrara show at Global News Radio – 640 Toronto. Unfortunately I cannot find a recording of the show online.