WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH)– One of the big obstacles many have faced in getting the COVID-19 vaccine has been the difficulty of registering online.

Led by professor Alex Citurs, a team of five Eastern Connecticut State University students are using their computer skills to help others sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Right here we have instructions to create and check email,” explained ECSU Sophomore Hunter Vetterkind.

The students who are part of the Business Information Systems program developed a website which walks users through the entire process.

“And then right here we have Getting Info Before VAMS,” said Vetterkind, as he navigated the site. “We list all the info you need for the process so it makes it as easy as possible.”

“We used three coding languages,” said ESCU Senior Gary Kozlowski. “HTML, css, and javascript.”

They all wrote the code.

“Right here is actually the CSS so like the colors, the fonts, everything that kind of makes it look pretty,” explained Kozlowski.

They also designed the site to be user friendly because they knew people who needed the vaccine weren’t getting it.

“Creating an email was the top snag that they got into,” said Vetterkind.

This website shows users how to do that and even alerts them to the vaccine-related emails they should be reading instead of clicking on spam and scams.

The reason the students became involved in this project originally is because the local health director who knew of their reputation asked them to help her with her database. They then realized that this was a much more urgent issue.

“The bottom line we did this was basically to save the lives of people here in Connecticut,” said Dr. Citurs, BIS Program Coordinator at ECSU.

They even thought of things the state and health officials hadn’t.

“We have two options,” said Vetterkind as he opened the website. “We have English and Spanish.”

 “Given the large population of Spanish speakers in the area and stuff like that we’re like helping our community as well as other communities within Connecticut,” said ECSU Senior Luis Serrano. 

They are hoping this helps people overcome the technical obstacles to getting the vaccine.

“The graphics help and the steps help,” said Vettekind.