CNIW Reporter: Fiona Bian
Submitted by: Centre for New Immigrant Wellbeing (CNIW) in partnership with Confederation of Chinese Alumni Associations (加拿大中国高校校友会联合会，CCAA).
As highly effective vaccines become available in greater numbers, Canadians can become a part of the solution to end the pandemic. Our campaign project has covered a large scale of the Canadian Chinese Community, calling on individual actions to uptake vaccines and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
With so much information—including incorrect information—available today, learning the facts before making health decisions is very important. Our objective is to encourage as many people to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and use scientific facts and information to clarify peoples’ misunderstandings and myths of the vaccine. We have held online webinars and seminars, provided live-streaming Q and A sessions on COVID-19 immunization, hosted and participated in various anti-pandemic community events and launched a hotline to address common concerns, increase public awareness and incentive to get vaccinated. Additionally, we have also invited public health experts, frontline medical professionals and vaccine ambassadors from Chinese community to appear on television, radio, print and social media.
Our campaigns have reached over 200,000 Canadian Chinese individuals including various major ethnic groups, and especially senior and youth groups across Canada. However, the growing popularity of antivaccine movements have affected the local epidemiological situation. Vaccine hesitancy has become a significant problem not only for epidemiologists, but also for practitioners. Fortunately, the hesitant group seems to be vulnerable to intervention, and our campaign project has successfully demonstrated that some of these patients can be persuaded to uptake vaccine. We found that the medical and scientific community exert decisive effects on attitudes toward vaccinations; high-quality information provided by them is of great importance. Skillful and competent provision of evidence-based information disproving the myth about vaccine–autism connection and proper education is essential in molding positive attitudes toward vaccinations.
Based on our interview and focus group preliminary study in this campaign project, we also initiated a new research plan to investigate the preferential differences in vaccination decision-making for oneself or one’s child in Canadian Chinese community. To optimize the focus of future public information campaigns in promoting the uptake of vaccines among adults and children, we hope to quantified the contribution of several attributes to the vaccination decision.
The report can be found below and downloaded:
Contributing authors to this report:
Peizong Peter Wang, MD, PhD. Centre for New Immigrant Wellbeing (CNIW)
Xiao Ha, PhD. Centre for New Immigrant Wellbeing (CNIW)
Fiona Bian, Student at Branksome Hall
Ying Cao, Centre for New Immigrant Wellbeing (CNIW)