Vaccelerateur: Helping Quebecers find last-minute COVID-19 vaccine appointments one tweet at a time
MONTREAL -- Looking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible? Well, there's a...Twitter account...for that.
Vaccélérateur is the brainchild of Guillaume Campagna, chief technical officer (CTO) of Transit, a mobile app providing real-time public transit data.
"I'm very eager to get vaccinated myself. Even if I'm not eligible, yet," Campagna told CTV News. "Sometimes, I go onto Clic Santé and see what are the possibilities and sometimes I see there are appointments very soon, sooner than the general wait time, sometimes up to the same day."
Campagna says the algorithm he created is quite simple. It opens up the Clic Sante website and searches for appointments in each region.
"Initially, I wanted to do it for myself, friends and family," he explained. "It's something that I did as a personal project."
The goal now is to help Quebecers looking to get vaccinated as quickly as possible find a last-minute slot on the highly coveted schedule.
"I saw people replying that they got appointments earlier," Campagna said. "People are very excited about getting new appointments."
The Twitter account is relatively new. Campagna came up with the idea last Friday and within a few days had the Twitter page up and running.
The first tweet was sent out on May 4, with additional Twitter accounts set up for each region of the province.
He says the project is completely independent of the Quebec government.
"The government's not involved, and they're doing a good job with vaccinating thousands of people per day," he said. "What's on their mind is, 'how do I vaccinate 50 per cent more people?' And what's on my mind is 10 or 20 or 30 people."
Despite the momentary branch-out into the word of medicine, Campagna says he is still very much focused on transit.
"Vaccinations and those types of projects are more things that we like doing," he said. "It's not something we want to branch to, but if it can help people get vaccinated, I think it's good."
Transit users can also use the app to find vaccination locations and book their appointments directly.