Need to Know
- Cloudflare’s Project Fair Shot initiative will make the new Cloudflare Waiting Room tool free to qualifying organizations.
- The tool provides a way for future vaccine recipients to see a clear, and up-to-date overview of their position in line for a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Waiting Room was already on Cloudflare’s project roadmap but was intended for other high-demand, limited-supply items, such as concert tickets.
- Cloudflare Waiting Room can be added to any registration site, and in the future, will allow operators to provide wait time estimates and deliver alerts when a registrant’s turn is nearing.
Cloudflare, the web infrastructure company, is releasing a new tool that will allow organizations to provide digital waiting rooms for COVID-19 vaccine registrants.
The tool, Cloudflare Waiting Room, is part of the company’s Project Fair Shot initiative, which is aimed at helping organizations overcome the technical limitations that are slowing COVID-19 vaccine administration. Waiting Room lets future vaccine recipients register for a “spot” in line for a vaccine; registrants will then receive confirmation that they’re in line, and eventually, will get a follow-up when it’s their turn to sign up for a vaccination slot with the organization administering their vaccine.
“The wife of one of Cloudflare’s executives in our Austin office was trying to register her parents for the COVID-19 vaccine program there,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said in an email. “The registration site kept crashing. She said to her husband: ‘Why doesn’t Cloudflare build a queuing feature to help vaccine sites?’ As it happened, we had exactly such a feature under development and scheduled to be launched in early February.”
Cloudflare then accelerated the launch of Waiting Room, which was initially in development for other high-demand, limited-supply items such as sneakers and concert tickets, in response to the many technological roadblocks that are hindering the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Prince said the Cloudflare team “worked around the clock because they recognized how important helping with vaccine delivery was.”
“These are the sorts of projects that really drive our team: when we can use our technical expertise and infrastructure to solve problems with a broad, positive impact,” he added.
Cloudflare Waiting Room can be added to any registration website built on the company’s existing CDN. The Fair Shot program will provide it for free to those organizations that need it, and interested parties can now sign up on Cloudflare’s registration page to join a waitlist for the product.
Cloudflare joins a number of tech companies lending their resources to COVID-19 vaccine distribution. These include Microsoft and Salesforce, who have teamed up for a vaccination passport initiative (Salesforce previously launched a vaccine distribution tool through Work.com), and Google, which recently added vaccine information to Search.