REGINA -- Brock Lumbard has created a texting tool to help Saskatchewan residents find their nearest COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

To use it, residents simply text their postal code to 306-517-7062, and the responding text lists all of the closest vaccine clinics to the person’s location.

“It’s a tool that compiles all of the vaccine locations and appointments in Saskatchewan, using some technology that just basically grabs that data from the government websites,” said Lumbard. “It just queries the database for the closest locations and sends them back to you.”

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Lumbard is a business and software engineering student at Western University, graduating this spring after spending his final year studying remotely at home in Regina. He said he got the idea for the project from two young entrepreneurs in Ontario, who built a similar tool there.

“Over the years, I sort of did some side projects and some hack-a-thons that introduced me to the technology that was necessary to build this tool,” he said.

The project, which he started on Sunday, took him about 12 hours to complete. As of early Wednesday afternoon, he said about 2,800 people had texted the line.

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“I hope it helps some people who aren’t as good with computers…have just an easier medium to find vaccines,” said Lumbard.

The Premier’s office even reached out to Lumbard regarding the tool. Premier Scott Moe said SaskTel will be waiving the costs of the texts Lumbard was planning on covering himself.

“It’s yet another tool, innovative, built by a young Saskatchewan person, that can be utilized by everyone across the province, and for that we’re very grateful,” said Moe.