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Creator of COVID-19 vaccine map hopes to build trust, inspire others to share their stories

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 20, 2021

DENVER -- A registered nurse named Karen shared her reason for getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Ft. Collins, while a man in Littleton simply said he wants to travel again. Their stories are part of an interactive map called "I Got Vaccinated" where people can share their reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

"That’s really the whole idea is to build trust and encourage other people to get the vaccine," said Jeremiah Lindemann, a geographic data and information analyst who is behind the new map.

Lindemann, a Colorado resident, works for a company called Esri where he's been helping health departments manage COVID-19 data. He says this project was spurred by conversations with health officials who wanted a way to build trust during the vaccine rollout.

"As far as building trust goes, the health departments have a big challenge to build that level of trust within their community. I think the way that this does it, is it just brings in personal stories," said Lindemann.

GIScorp is hosting the map and their volunteers approve stories after they're submitted. Lindemann hopes those experiences will encourage others who may be hesitant to get the vaccine.

"If there’s people getting vaccinated, and you’re not sure, and you’re looking around at what’s happening in your community, and your community is doing this, you might be more inclined to take that next step," said Lindemann.

Some of the first people to share their stories were frontline workers in the health care industry. A woman named Olivia said she got the vaccine to protect her patients, loved ones and community.

This isn't the first time Lindemann has used maps to personalize an important issue. Denver7 previously interviewed him about his "Celebrating Lost Loved Ones" map that marked the lives of thousands people lost to the opioid crisis, including his own brother. Then back in April, Lindemann went on to create a map to commemorate the lives of COVID-19 victims.

"Just like I think the other maps we’ve talked about where people pay attention more when something is near them," said Lindemann.

Lindemann hopes people will be encouraged to add their vaccine story to the current map. You can find information about creating a submission here.