Boosting immunity one click at a time

Encouraging B.C. residents to increase their knowledge about immunization.

  • May. 4, 2016 8:00 a.m.

National Immunization Awareness Week takes place from April 23-30, and I Boost Immunity (IBI) is encouraging British Columbians to participate in the 100,000 vaccine challenge. Test your immunization knowledge and take a series of immunization quizzes at www.IBoostImmunity.com. For each question you get right, IBI will donate one vaccine to help vaccinate children in support of UNICEF Canada.

The online quizzes are easier to start, but get more challenging as you ‘level up’. You can also earn more life-saving vaccines for children by forming teams, earning achievement badges, or sharing articles and stories through social networks about why vaccines are an important part of keeping a community healthy.

“For immunization to work anywhere, it has to be present everywhere,” says Michael Barnes, Executive Director with the Public Health Association of BC. “Diseases don’t respect boundaries so I Boost Immunity is tackling this unique public health challenge head on by rewarding individual knowledge and learning with a practical outcome that can lead to healthier lives for children around the world.”

Although immunization is widely heralded as a miracle of modern medicine, the spread of misinformation online has resulted in some parents choosing to skip certain vaccines or avoid immunizations altogether. Currently, one in three children in BC under two years of age is not fully up-to-date with all their vaccinations. This has led to I Boost Immunity being developed as part of a larger effort to find new ways to counter the surge of anti-vaccine sentiment on the internet. Along with its partner, ImmunizeBC, IBI builds on lessons learned from previous approaches to immunization education by crowdsourcing the silent majority of people that do vaccinate their children. Studies show that online programs that focus on education and sharing can influence attitudes, beliefs and behaviour regarding immunization.

Instead of rolling your eyes or shaking your fist, now you can take real action against dangerous anti-vaccination messaging. Go to I Boost Immunity and take a quiz to help reach the goal of 100,000 vaccines by April 30.

I Boost Immunity is a BC-based online grassroots immunization advocacy program managed by the Public Health Association of British Columbia.

 

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