UBC club looks to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy
Posted September 18, 2021 10:31 am.
Last Updated September 18, 2021 10:32 am.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As vaccine misinformation and hesitancy hampers the end of the pandemic, one of UBC’s newest clubs is hoping to do its part to change that.
Emilie Wang, a second-year integrated sciences student, says she started the Vaccine Literacy Club because she found many people around her were vaccine-hesitant.
“We see on the news, there are still so many people who are falling ill, or even dying because of these preventable diseases. And it’s very frustrating that this is still happening,” she explains.
“So the mission of our club is to help our communities in B.C. overcome vaccine hesitancy. So we can all eventually move beyond this pandemic, and hopefully, return to normal and be better prepared for whatever will come in the future.”
It hasn’t taken long for Wang’s idea to come to fruition. The group started this month, and already, this weekend, the club is hosting an event that involves four researchers sharing their work and taking questions.
“Some of these researchers are working on vaccine development and also understanding our public health response and vaccine uptake.”
This event will be held virtually since Wang has found, “people tend to be more comfortable.”
“Hopefully, they can have their questions directly addressed and their concerns addressed.”
But this is only the beginning.
“We are going to be hosting more events that are open to people from different backgrounds, different demographics, different age ranges. And we’re also working on some other projects as well,” she says. “We hope to eventually create a children’s book, and this children’s book is going to be mostly in pictures. So really, anyone from any cultural background can understand the information there. And we hope to donate this book to the B.C. Children’s Hospital. So different families can access relevant and accurate information about vaccines.”
Other UBC clubs have even reached out to see if her club can do a presentation.. and they’ve already done some workshops.
This club is one of a kind on campus and will stay relevant even after the pandemic, Wang says.
“Vaccine hesitancy has been a problem for a long time. But recently, it garnered more media attention because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are so many different vaccine-preventable diseases. And this is a problem that really needs a long-term solution as well beyond the pandemic. Even just like the seasonal flu vaccines, there’s still hesitancy around that. And a pandemic almost only allowed us to see this hesitancy in a greater light.”