Ryan Reynolds rocked a new t-shirt on social media for a good cause.
The Vancouverite — who shared a photo of himself shortly after getting the COVID-19 vaccine in California last month and has supported a number of social causes and charities alongside his wife and fellow actress, Blake Lively — took to Twitter on Wednesday to promote a new campaign aimed at combating vaccine hesitancy and encouraging Canadians to get inoculated against COVID-19.
“Finally got my #ThisIsOurShotCA t-shirt,” the actor wrote. “Matching room not included.”
The initiative, dubbed “This Is Our Shot,” is the result of a collaborative effort by several Canadian groups that have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in racialized communities. These include the South Asian COVID Task Force, Siksika Health Services, the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force, and the Black Health Initiative.
Doctors and frontline workers, as well as notable Canadians such as singer Michael Bublé, musician Bif Naked, astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar, and Olympic medallist Clara Hughes, have also expressed their support for the campaign.
Canada! I got vaccinated because I want to protect myself, my family & all of the vulnerable folks out there. Please join the #ThisIsOurShotCA challenge and tag your friends & family to get vaccinated. For more info visit https://t.co/4HMC1y0rdepic.twitter.com/7SMNAFevVr— Michael Bublé (@MichaelBuble) April 28, 2021
This is important to save precious human lives & for joy, hope and positivity. I received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. If you haven't yet, please do so! Thanks to Canada's #thisisourshot (https://t.co/XWg8Co8RrX) campaign for this T-shirt.— Gurdeep Pandher of the Yukon (@GurdeepPandher) April 28, 2021
Canadians can take part in the project by posting a photo of themselves sporting a This Is Our Shot t-shirt and rallying their peers to follow suit once they have been vaccinated, using the hashtag #ThisIsOurShotCA. According to organizers, all proceeds from t-shirt sales go to Kids Help Phone, Canada's 24/7 mental health national service.
A website has also been created to answer common questions about the vaccine, with guidance and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These resources are available in 27 languages, from English to French to Urdu.
The goal of the campaign is to address public fears and concerns and to increase confidence vaccines — and, ultimately, help end the pandemic as soon as possible. (The same objective lies at the heart of Global Citizen’s platform VAX BECAUSE, which serves as a hub for people to ask questions about the vaccines and find fact-based information about COVID-19.)
This Is Our Shot organizers have also joined forces with prominent public health experts across the country during a virtual town hall held on Wednesday. Participants were encouraged to ask questions and seek guidance from the panel.
In Canada, reluctance to get vaccinated can be explained by a complex set of factors, which vary based on individual lived experiences, overall trust in the health care system, and more.
According to a recent study, the most common reasons cited by Canadians were “lack of confidence in the safety of the vaccine” (54.2%) and “concerns about its risks and side effects” (51.7%). Experts also argue that newcomers are particularly vulnerable to misinformation around vaccines, which spreads at an alarmingly rapid rate on social media.
However, community advocates and equity activists have cautioned against attributing vaccine hesitancy to specific groups and people of colour. Indigenous communities, for instance, have displayed exceptionally high levels of vaccine acceptance — despite deep distrust in the health care system that has its historic roots in colonialism and abuse.