BamaTracker creator talks vaccines and future of the site

Tracking vaccines
Tracking vaccines
Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 8:45 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic thousands across Alabama have turned to to keep up with the constant flow of data and numbers about the virus.

David Marconnet created the site hoping to give Alabamians an easier way to view the spread of COVID-19 across the state, he never imagined it would get this big though.

“I’m really honored and really thankful that what I have been able to build has been helpful and useful to so many people,” he said. “The praise is nice and I’ve got a lot more attention personally than I could’ve ever imagined.”

The website gets thousands of visitors each day and the BamaTracker Twitter account has more than 10,000 followers.

The newest addition to BamaTracker is vaccine tracking, Marconnet said it’s pretty cool to track the beginning of the end for this pandemic.

“It’s really impressive that vaccines are out and I’m really happy the Health Department is willing to share some numbers on that, because I do think it gives everyone some optimism for this year,” he said.

According to the latest vaccine update from the Alabama Department of Public Health, 242,000 vaccines have been allocated to Alabama with 42,000 shots given out across the state. Of those 42,000 doses, roughly 28,000 were Phizer shots and 14,000 were Moderna.

Marconnet said the data released from the ADPH right now is pretty basic and he would like to see some more details around the stats.

“I’m hoping they add some age related metrics and I’d also like them to add unique individuals because when you just have doses administered, that doesn’t tell you enough in my opinion, because you have to have two doses,” he said. “We don’t know how many unique people have gone through and gotten their first dose.”

Marconnet said he sees people on social media calling for more info on vaccine data in county-by-county breakdowns and who exactly is getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

But, the ADPH has control of that data and it is up to leaders there if it is released or not. Marconnet said throughout the pandemic the ADPH has done a really good job of updating the data each and every day.

With the end of the pandemic potential in sight, Marconnet is also thinking about the future of BamaTracker.

“I feel like BamaTracker has evolved into something a little bit more than just a COVID-19 data site,” he said. “It’s essentially becoming a platform that pertains to Alabama, that may be valuable to Alabamians or people that have family here.”

He said the goal of BamaTracker is basic, taking data and simplifying it in and easier way for people to understand. Now, he’s hoping to expand the site to a few more categories, like sports and politics.

“I think BamaTracker has found its purpose in being able to take data that may be complicated or may be something the average person doesn’t understand and able to convert that into a chart or a tool that is more easily understandable or more easily consumed,” Marconnet said.

Another part of the growth of the site will be Patreon, a website creators use to give followers exclusive content, insight into their work and community in exchange for a monthly membership fee.

So far, Marconnet has created BamaTracker and continued to work on it all on his own time and unpaid. He said since starting the site has has probably worked about 1,000 hours on it.

If you would like to support BamaTracker and Marconnet, you can check out his Patreon account.

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