Public forum to combat vaccine hesitancy in local African populations

(Windsor, ON, October 28, 2021) ­­– A UWindsor-led strategy to boost vaccine confidence among Africans in Windsor and Essex County will kick off Saturday, Oct. 30, with a free public forum over Zoom.

UWindsor sociology and anthropology professor Francisca Omorodion has launched the project to combat misconceptions about COVID-19 and hesitancy about the vaccines available to control the spread of the virus.

“Studies have shown that racialized groups tend to have higher risk perceptions of the vaccine and the potential effects on their bodies because of their mistrust of scientists, the medical community, and government,” Dr. Omorodion said.

Saturday’s public forum will feature guest speaker Josephine Etowa, a nursing professor at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Etowa, who was born in Nigeria, specializes in how visible minorities are treated by Canadian healthcare.

It’s the first part of a year-long project called ICOVAC that will include a second public forum, workshops, and a social media campaign, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Information will be available in both English and French.

Omorodion, who is also a native of Nigeria, said she is recruiting people of African descent to reach out to the local African communities through the project.

She has partnered with such local groups as the African Community Organization of Windsor, the Nigerian Community Organization of Windsor, the Somalia Organization, the African Women Association of Windsor, Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women, and the YMCA to spread the word about the project.

Saturday’s public forum runs 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. Access information is available on the project’s social media accounts:



Sarah Sacheli
Research Communications Co-ordinator
University of Windsor
Cell no. 226-347-1836