Today, the City of Toronto launched Pandemic Perspectives, a four-part vaccine engagement video series that features personal stories of Toronto residents, community-based insights, vaccine information and resources.
The four video themes – families, faith leaders, youth and accessibility – were identified by Vaccine Engagement Teams (VETs) to focus on communities and equity-deserving groups who continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with lower rates of vaccination and high rates of COVID-19 infection. The videos deliver a personal and powerful message rooted in life experience directly to, from and by impacted communities about the importance of vaccination, addressing barriers and hesitations along the way.
The videos aim to create a broad understanding, appreciation and respect for the perspectives of others. By acknowledging the unique challenges many Torontonians face, the video series encourages collaboration and partnership among all Toronto residents.
Community-based engagement continues to be critical to Team Toronto’s hyper-local, equity-focused vaccine strategy. The work of VETs continues to successfully reach communities experiencing low vaccine uptake and high COVID-19 infection rates. Through this work, VETs and Community Ambassadors deepen connections with residents to transform hesitancy and resistance into understanding and confidence.
Earlier this year, the City launched Black Bodies, featuring Dr. Akwatu Khenti, Chair of the City’s Black Scientists’ Task Force on Vaccine Equity, with a personal message about COVID-19 vaccination to Toronto’s Black community. Following the impact of that video, the City worked with the Accessibility Task Force, the Faith-Based Engagement Collaborative and the Toronto Youth Vaccine Advisory Committee (TYVAC) to expand the series. Watch Black Bodies under COVID-19 Stories on the City’s COVID-19: Vaccine Resources webpage.
Learn more about the work of VETs on the City’s COVID-19: Vaccine Engagement Teams Updates webpage.
Created for the community, by the community, the City worked with talent from its ArtWorksTO program, which provides opportunities for youth media artists (ages 18 to 29) who are Indigenous, Black and People of Colour and/or 2SLGBTQ+ to gain professional experience, skills and network in the media arts industry. Serville Poblette of Slow Drip Studio, an alumnus of the program, produced the series.
“We continue to find ways to reach each and every resident in this City to deliver important messages about vaccination and provide access to vaccines. Pandemic Perspectives was created to speak directly to members of communities who unfortunately continue to experience higher rates of COVID-19 infection and lower rates of vaccination. Additionally, we want to contextualize the backgrounds and challenges that many of our residents face to promote a larger understanding of one another.”
– Mayor John Tory
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.