Earlier this year BC CDC approached Hot Tomali to help them build and launch a very unique program, I Boost Immunity. The concept was simple: help people share information about the benefits of immunization using social media. I Boost Immunity, which officially launches on November 12, 2014, is sponsored by the Public Health Association of BC (PHABC) and was inspired by a concern that misinformation and complacency has resulted in some parents choosing to skip certain vaccines or avoid immunizations all together. The program builds on lessons learned from previous approaches to immunization education by acknowledging the silent majority of people that do vaccinate their children.
Why was this needed? To put it mildly, there is a LOT of misinformation surrounding vaccination going on these days. The “anti-vaxxers,” as they are often called in the media, blame vaccines for a range of illnesses, including autism, multiple sclerosis, SIDS, and a multitude of other maladies. The biggest challenge with this rhetoric is that arguments against vaccination are made with little or no scientific facts. To make matters even worse, many of the diseases that the anti-vaxxers target are typically childhood illnesses, which make their claims even more emotionally charged and jarring.
I Boost Immunity offers a crowdsourced alternative to all the mis-information. The program is structured so that people can join the I Boost Immunity website at www.iboostimmunity.ca and become an advocate of immunization, called a Booster.
Boosters can not only educate themselves, but they can also share articles and stories through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and email. The platform includes a ‘Tell us your story’ application, which encourages people to share why they support immunization and ‘Booster U’, a short training course designed to help prepare new boosters to become confident and successful immunization champions. I Boost Immunity Boosters are awarded points for each activity they perform. As points are accumulated, they are recognized with online achievement badges, and are also able to redeem their points for I Boost Immunity themed rewards. At its core, the program is based on the belief that educating others using stories combined with scientific facts can have a real and lasting impact among friends, families and co-workers. Ultimately, the goal of I Boost Immunity is to raise awareness and action in areas that have lower than optimal immunization rates in British Columbia.
Visit www.iboostimmunity.ca to sign up today!
Hot Tomali has a long history of working with clients in the health and public awareness sectors. Past work has been done for: BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Costal Health Authority, Mens Health Initiative, Provincial Infection Control Network, BC Lung Association, International Dyslexia Association, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, and many more.