Toronto’s citizen can declare independence from the local public health authority by getting a face swap.
Toronto has taken to kicking serious butt by using the childrens’ game Jenga to promote its measles campaign.
The campaign, which promotes the vaccine, aims to knock on 500,000 doors across Toronto, Mississauga and Newmarket in Ontario in a bid to get residents to accept the offer to “declare your independence” by having a picture taken next to a friend so that their profile picture would appear alongside a bespectacled puppet with measles as his claim to fame.
I am our new doctor. I am new to this and don’t know what to do. I’m sure your friend would appreciate your kindness right away. She or he is not allergic. – doctor for measles
The hashtag (#DeclareVaccinated) of the campaign, led by Toronto’s public health authority, is accompanied by a cheeky video that features a parody of Manny Pacquiao’s Fight of the Century win over Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The ad features the video of TLC’s Unpretty as a boxing promoter before it throws in a “selfie sneeze generator” video and goes on to list the health repercussions of declining to immunize children.
The video features Toronto’s mascot Juno, the child athlete mascot, stating “declare independence” before shaking hands with the local public health authority mascot, Morty, who turned out to be the largest doll.
The hilarious video was reported by the CBC as having been produced by “Kidshealthy.ca” and was aimed at convincing parents that getting a jab to stop spreading measles was “our doing”.
Toronto was poised to be a hub for children’s entertainment before it was slated to lose it when Global Kids went out of business earlier this year.
At the time, My Health Record, the My Health National effort, which receives 12% of Global Kids’ funding, refused to take up the challenge. However, despite reports, it appears the local fundraising arm, held by Ontario cities and regions, will not help spearhead the campaign.
According to the Toronto Star, My Health Toronto President Laurie Himmelrich did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment on Wednesday and did not respond to a request for a phone interview.
A previous campaign in 2016 through Toronto Public Health aimed to scare residents to put the needle down by offering “declare yours” stickers.
But it was always going to be tough. According to the World Health Organization, a significant number of Canadians do not want to take the jab. Some are swayed by conservative spin, while others hold a deep suspicion that the vaccine causes mental illness and autism. While these concerns have grown more pronounced since the first measles cases appeared in the US in 2014, they are still more common among the “sandwich generation” of baby boomers who relied on grandparents, aunts and uncles for their immunization records.
“We are a city whose residents are often criticized for being slow or reluctant to take on new things, for falling behind the times, for losing out on opportunities and simply not caring enough,” My Health Toronto Chair Stephen Totaro told the Toronto Star. “Encouraging the residents of the city to get vaccinated to protect other lives takes this problem squarely in their hands and is a lot easier to get through than the question of where your favourite restaurant is.”