Vaccines are one of the greatest advances in medicine, but are a victim of their own success. As vaccine preventable diseases have disappeared, some Canadian parents no longer believe vaccination is needed and unnecessarily fear vaccines. Canadian vaccination rates are below 70%. We regularly see outbreaks of previously eliminated diseases such as whooping cough, measles and mumps. Vaccine promotion research shows that emphasizing the positive aspects of vaccination is essential for successful health promotion efforts. 2 This research led to a sustained strategic effort in British Columbia to build a peer to-peer advocacy platform that could help positively shape the tone of the ‘immunization conversation’ at a grassroots level. Through individual knowledge acquisition, influencing online media discourses and engaging peer social networks with a ‘vaccine-positive’ point of view, I Boost Immunity was created to engage vaccine-hesitant Canadians by informing, supporting and empowering those who influence them. I Boost Immunity (IBI) is a Canadian-based online learning platform for vaccination built on the premise that rewarding individual knowledge with a practical outcome can save lives. The website uses quizzes, articles and stories to raise local literacy about immunization and pairs it with a global reward: vaccines for kids through UNICEF Canada. I Boost Immunity is based on the idea that raising local literacy about immunization benefits you and your community. At the same time, it recognizes that diseases can cross boundaries, and that vaccinating anyone, anywhere in the world, benefits all of us. To this end, for every quiz question answered correctly or article/story shared via social media one vaccine is ‘earned’ by a visitor that accumulates on their online account. The more ‘educational labour’ they provide through doing quizzes and sharing, the more vaccines they earn for children, it’s that simple.
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