WINDSOR, ON, November 15, 2021 - WE-SPARK Health Institute is hosting a student-led event to address vaccine hesitancy amount young adults across Windsor-Essex.
The event “Sparking Vaccine Confidence Among Students of Windsor-Essex” will feature five panelists including a science expert, a frontline worker and students answering a variety of questions regarding their experience with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancies.
The project involves a multidisciplinary team of students, professors and researchers from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College.
Loretta Sbrocca, a University of Windsor Master of Education student, signed on to the project in hopes of making an impact. “I lost a family member to COVID-19, so this is how I can put my skills and knowledge and education to use and prevent others from feeling that pain,” she says. “Joining this project was my chance to protect my community and bring reliable information to the underrepresented groups.”
Lead researcher Dora Cavallo-Medved, a University of Windsor biomedical sciences professor, is joined in the project by UWindsor kinesiology professor Sarah Woodruff and Monia Tighe, chair of the School of Health Sciences at St. Clair College
Dr. Cavallo-Medved says it will strengthen collaborations among the partner institutions.
“Tackling this together with students taking the lead is a much more effective way to make an impact on the community,” she says. “Bringing all our resources together will build awareness of the health capacity we have in Windsor.”
The students have also launched a social media campaign in the form of graphic representations of peer-to-peer conversations. Two of the comic-style strips have been published, with the series projected to continue through January on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, using the hashtag #SPARKINGvaccineCONFIDENCE. The strips are presented as common conversations and questions that students may have, with answers provided by other students.
“The main audience on social media is young people,” explains Jaclyn Ruta, a fourth-year biomedical sciences major who is earning course credit for her role in the project. “You’re more likely to respond to someone in your own demographic.”
The event will be held on December 2, 6-7pm and open to everyone in the community. To register for the event visit https://bit.ly/3c4F5HF