To cut through COVID-19 disinformation, Ottawa urged to make sure vaccination info also reaches newcomers
December 25, 2020
By the Star |
The misinformation tends to go like this: “A vaccine will change your DNA.”
Or … “COVID-19 vaccination is a scheme Bill Gates cooked up to insert microchips into our body.”
Other times, there’ll be a meme using an image of Drake that suggests getting coronavirus is safer than getting the shot.
Anti-vaccine propaganda and misinformation comes in multiple languages over a spectrum of social media, shared widely among community groups, social circles and families. The messaging targets everyone under the sun.
Advocates say Canadian health authorities need to make accurate vaccination facts accessible to newcomers, who can be susceptible to these campaigns due to language and cultural barriers.
“Newcomers often rely on information from their home countries and may have a disconnect with what’s happening here in Canada due to language barriers. Some have had troubled history with the health system back home. They need a trusted source of information.”
According to the latest census data, almost 22 per cent of Canadians are foreign-born immigrants, with more than 70 per cent reporting a language other than English or French as their mother tongue.