Creator of Free Website for COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments Uses Platform to Raise Anti-Asian Hate Awareness

turbovax

After creating a website that helps New Yorkers find COVID-19 vaccines, a software developer is using his new platform to take a stand against anti-Asian hate. 

What is TurboVax: Last month, Huge Ma launched TurboVax, a website that “finds appointments from 53 city and state-run vaccine sites in the NYC area.” TurboVax makes it easier for New York City residents to locate available vaccines and also book vaccine appointments, according to ABC News.

  • After struggling to find a vaccine for his mother, which Ma claims was a “pretty arduous process,” he decided to create TurboVax. 
  • Ma’s website compiles information from city and state websites. It also announces available appointments via Twitter.
  • The New York Times praised Ma’s website for doing a better job at spotting appointments than the state’s official systems.

Raising awareness: The rise of cases against Asian Americans prompted Ma to suspend his website for two days to draw attention to the important contributions of the Asian community in the country.

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  • After receiving several negative comments about his decision, Ma told his critics he is “not your free labor.”

  • He then went on to educate his followers on the current issues that the Asian American community is facing.
  • He also asked his followers to donate to Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative that supports businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown and combats anti-Asian hate. 
  • Ma, who grew up in Queens, has experienced anti-Asian bias firsthand, with people making comments about his “slanted eyes,” “yellow skin” and “‘Ching Chong’ name.”
  • “If we as a country don’t listen to the concerns of Asian Americans, then we risk losing the contributions of Asian Americans as well,” Ma told ABC News.
  • TurboVax has helped thousands of New Yorkers, and Ma recently revealed that around $105,000 has been raised for Chinatown so far.

Feature Image via ABC News

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