Local physicians have put together a one-stop site for Manitobans with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Doctors Manitoba, which represents more than 3,000 members, launched manitobavaccine.ca on Monday.
Along with a comprehensive list of frequently-asked questions about the safety, efficacy and variety of COVID-19 vaccines, the website also provides a tool to find out if the user is eligible to receive the vaccine, and a sign-up service where users can be notified when they become eligible.
Doctors Manitoba president Dr. Cory Baillie said there’s already been an "exciting" response from Manitobans — around 4,000 people have checked their eligibility and 2,000 have signed up to be notified when they’re eligible in the two days since the launch.
"I think Manitobans are eager to be vaccinated and I think they do have questions and are interested in getting information from their physicians, a health-care provider they can trust," he said.
Should the information provided not answer specific concerns, the site also provides a simple tool where users can submit questions. Doctors Manitoba has created a vaccine advisory committee comprised of physicians of various specialties that will receive the questions and possibly add responses to the website.
The interface is simple and accessible — and that accessibility will hopefully get information out to those who may need it the most urgently, Baillie said.
"I think, hopefully, seniors will get benefit with it, so they’ll be able to get notified when they’re eligible for the vaccine, I think that’s one of the most important features."
Fighting falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine safety and roll-out process was a priority for Doctors Manitoba, as well.
"We’re in the age of social media, there’s lots of misinformation that’s out there," Baillie said.
"It can be difficult for people to tell what’s true and what’s untrue, and we want to provide a reliable source of information from physicians to their patients."
Vaccine eligibility for Manitobans was updated Wednesday to include First Nations people ages 69 and older and other Manitobans ages 89 and older.
Malak Abas is a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press.