WINNIPEG -- Manitoba launched an online booking system for COVID-19 vaccinations on Wednesday.

Johanu Botha, co-lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, said he expects high traffic on the site to start with and there will be a virtual waiting room.

He also explained that the process will require people to input their information and the check to make sure the person is eligible will happen at the vaccination site.

Botha also said there won't be any overbooking happening even with two ways to book appointments.

"So once a slot has been taken, whether it's by the call centre or by the online process, that slot is held," he said.

Dr. Joss Reimer, the medical lead for the Vaccine Implementation Task Force, was asked how the province intends to make sure people aren't skipping the line and getting the vaccine when they aren't eligible.

She said because the vaccine is being distributed by age, the information on people's health cards will determine if they can get the shot.

But she added there is still a chance people could cheat the system.

"It's certainly possible that people could mislead either the online system or the call centre if they want to try to access the vaccine more quickly than they should be eligible for," said Reimer.

Reimer added that she feels the majority of Manitobans will follow the process for the vaccine and from what she has heard, many people are wanting others to get the shot before them.

"Overall, you know we're hearing Manitobans are eager to get the vaccine, but also eager to make sure that those people who need it the most, are getting it first in line."

She added that if people cheat the system, they still are required to provide their identification when they show up for a vaccine to make sure they are who they say they are. 

The appointments can be made here.

The call centre will still be there as an option for Manitobans, Botha said.

The province is also launching a separate #ProtectMB website with information to help Manitobans decide to get vaccinated or not.

The content on the website will be driven by research done using responses from several surveys including EngageMB.

"You can visit the site for information about vaccine eligibility, sites where people can be immunized, as well as stories about the vaccines, and myth-busting information," said Reimer.

Vaccine eligibility in Manitoba has also moved to 73 years old and older for the general population and 53 years old for First Nations People.

The online booking system will be for appointments at supersites only.

Reimer is encouraging all Manitobans to sign up for the vaccine when they are eligible.

"Even if you feel that somebody else should be going first, we want you to be immunized so that you're protecting that person," said Reimer.