Vaccine Hunters Canada are back to help with COVID-19 vaccine rollout for kids
TORONTO -- Vaccine Hunters Canada is returning from hiatus on social media now that COVID-19 vaccines are available for children aged 5 to 11.
"It's official! Vaccine Hunters Canada has temporarily reactivated our Twitter and Facebook accounts to share important information about boosters and vaccines for kids," the group wrote on social media.
Pfizer's pediatric COVID-19 vaccines were approved by Health Canada on Friday, and the first shipment landed in Canada Sunday evening. In wake of the approval, Vaccine Hunters Canada founder Andrew Young said his team felt that it was a good time to restart their social media operations.
"We said that we would keep a close eye on the upcoming five to 11 rollout," Young told CTVNews.ca over the phone on Monday. "So, with the federal announcement last week about the Pfizer approval, we felt this was a good time to basically reboot and recognize that we're in an all-hands-on-deck situation, but we're very close to the finish line. "
As these vaccines arrive at clinics across the country, and as more appointments for adults’ booster shots become available, Vaccine Hunters Canada will once again be posting regular updates about available appointments on social media.
Vaccine Hunters Canada was launched by a group of volunteers back in March, when vaccines were scarce and available appointments or pop-up clinics were hard to come by. Canadians were able to get updates on social media on when a vaccine clinic near them was opening up or had space available.
At its peak, Vaccine Hunters Canada had 400,000 followers on Twitter. An estimated 1.2 million Canadians were able to get inoculated with their help, Vaccine Hunters Canada says.
In August, when 75 per cent of eligible Canadians had been fully vaccinated, the team announced that they would no longer be posting new vaccine appointments on social media, instead refocusing their efforts on developing and maintaining their website features, such as their "Find your immunization" tool and their "SOS" form, where Canadians can request personalized assistance on how to find an appointment.
"It's been such an honour to work alongside (my team), plus, being able to help Canadians and the country as a whole," Young said. "We feel very excited and honoured to be back."