Want to find the nearest vaccine site for you? They developed a way to get information directly to your phone

The goal is to get vaccines in as many weapons as possible, the better the communication.

Inspired by a tweet showing a similar program in the US, Zayn Manji and Ashish Yelkar set out to add another tool to the vaccine “toolbox”: a text-messaging service directly on your phone from your three nearest vaccine sites Sends a list of.

“Why haven’t we just done this to ourselves’ in Canada?” Manji told the star in a phone interview on Monday.

With a background in engineering and coding, starting the messaging service proved to be an easy task for Manji and Ylekar. Manji, co-founder of Lazer Technologies, Has previously worked with companies to manufacture web and mobile products.

The pair challenged themselves to see how quickly they could get the system up and running – and set it up within four hours.

Interested in using the service text 1-833-356-1683 with its postal code. Users then receive an almost instantaneous response with the three nearest vaccination sites, their phone numbers and addresses.

Manaji said the suggested sites should be listed on the province’s COVID-19 website.

The messaging service launched on Friday, and Manji said that over the weekend, more than 85,000 people have checked which vaccination sites are closest to them. Hearing stories from people who have been able to book a vaccine, or are at least making it on a waitlist, “is great,” he said.

“We had no hope … We just made it and put it there,” Manji said. “If anyone booked, it was very good. If no one has booked – at least we have tried (some). ”

Confusion over how to get vaccinated on whether a person is a qualified person in the vaccine rollout of Ontario. While there is good information on the province’s website, some may not have technical literacy or lack access to computers.

The text-messaging service marks another grassroots effort to spread the word when and how to administer a vaccine. Other organizations, such as volunteer-led Vaccine Hunters Canada, have popped up to fill the information gaps.

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Groups such as Vaccine Hunters target those on social media, Manji said, while the messaging tool provides another way to get quick, reliable information.

“Each of those platforms has different audiences, and I think the goal is to reach the largest audience you can.”

Although the service is currently operational only in Ontario, Manji and Ylekar plan to expand to other provinces soon.

Jenna Moon is a breaking news reporter for Starr and is based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @ _Jenmoon


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