While COVID-19 counts in Canada show no signs of slowing, more needs to be done in order to reduce vaccine hesitancy, says Windsor Law alumnus Guri Pannu (JD 2007).
“Although vaccine supply in Canada is ramping up, vaccine hesitancy is a big problem and is prolonging the pandemic,” he says. “Our chance of getting back to normal depends on how quickly we can get all Canadians vaccinated — this is our shot.”
In April of this year, Pannu brought together a handful of grassroots organizations to launch the #ThisIsOurShotCA campaign. The online campaign encourages Canadians to participate by getting the vaccine when it is their turn, buying a “This is Our Shot” T-shirt, and sharing their favourite pictures or videos of Canadians wearing it on social media.
This is Our Shot officially launched on April 28 and the movement has the support of more than 300 influencers across Canada. High-profile supporters include Ryan Reynolds, Hayley Wickenheiser, Tessa Virtue, Michael Buble, Clara Hughes, and Sara McLachlan. The shirt is available in 27 languages and all proceeds will be donated to Kids Help Phone, Canada’s only 24/7 mental health national service offering bilingual professional counselling, information, and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people. To date, over 50,000 shirts have bee sold across Canada.
“We all need to act now to replace vaccine hesitancy with confidence,” says Pannu. “Let’s help spread the message that we can end the pandemic in Canada by getting vaccinated and, before you know it, be together again.”
To support the effort, the group is hosting a virtual Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 19, at 8 pm. Olympic cyclist and speed skater Clara Hughes will moderate a panel of medical specialists ready to answer any questions attendees may have about the vaccines.
To learn more or to purchase a T-shirt, visit the www.thisisourshot.ca website.