This is our shot, but it only works if we're in it together.
Multiple famous Canadians have come together with healthcare professionals to encourage people across the country to get vaccinated.
In the wake of soaring cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), healthcare professionals and famous Canadians are spreading the message that vaccines are safe.
But everyone needs to roll up their sleeves.
The This Is Our Shot campaign launched Wednesday was driven largely by groups that have been reaching out to and advocating for racialized communities bearing the brunt of the pandemic. The goal is to dispel myths and to answer questions in more than two dozen languages.
The campaign underscores that COVID-19 may cause serious illness and death in people of all ages, not only older adults or people with chronic medical conditions.
Famous Canadians come together to fight vaccine hesitancy
Beloved Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds shared his support for the campaign on social media, rocking one its trademark t-shirts. He quipped, "matching room not included."
Burnaby's modern-day crooner Michael Bublé said he got "vaccinated because I want to protect myself, my family [and] all of the vulnerable folks out there."
Canada! I got vaccinated because I want to protect myself, my family & all of the vulnerable folks out there. Please join the #ThisIsOurShotCA challenge and tag your friends & family to get vaccinated. For more info visit https://t.co/4HMC1y0rde pic.twitter.com/7SMNAFevVr— Michael Bublé (@MichaelBuble) April 28, 2021
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield also rocked one of the cool tees and advised people to "get vaccinated as soon as you can."
Canadian hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser also encouraged people to get vaccinated, remarking that "this might be the only shot you don’t have to practice endlessly in the garage to attain!"
This might be the only shot you don’t have to practice endlessly in the garage to attain!— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) April 28, 2021
Join our town hall tonight to answer all your vaccine questions, and get your T-shirt, with all proceeds to @KidsHelpPhone. https://t.co/ej4wRZCjPq @thisisourshotca pic.twitter.com/DWashTbEMX
"Dragon's Den" personality Arlene Dickinson, who is also taking part, added, "For me, it's about leveraging the docs and people who are on the front lines who understand the science and can answer legitimate questions that Canadians have.
If you have questions about the vaccine, that’s okay. Join us on April 28 for a live townhall moderated by @ClaraHughes as she asks your questions to a panel of top doctors across Canada. Watch it live on https://t.co/X25ABtbbHm at 8pm EST (5pm PST) April 28. #ThisisOurShotCa pic.twitter.com/MEGINJ4WfV— This is Our Shot 🇨🇦 (@thisisourshotca) April 22, 2021
Vaccine hesitancy in Canada
Vancouver emergency physician Dr. Navdeep Grewal, who works with a group providing culturally appropriate pandemic outreach to the South Asian community, said some concerns, such as whether vaccines were developed too quickly, cut across ethnic lines.
Other worries are more specific: for example, are the shots religiously sanctioned?
"They're wondering if it's vegetarian and, yes, the vaccines are all vegan, the ones that we have so far."
Grewal suggested a small subset of the population is steadfastly against vaccines and tends to be the loudest. But most are at least thinking about getting a shot.
"Those are the ones that we have the best opportunity of reaching with campaigns like this."
With files from the Canadian Press.