Montreal is using video games to raise COVID-19 vaccination levels
By Bob Garcia
Canadian gamers could earn cash for spreading the word on the COVID-19 vaccine
The vaccination process is a key part of reducing the spread of the pandemic caused by COVID-19. In Montreal, in what appears to be a clever strategy, the public health department is using the wider community of video gamers to encourage them to use the hashtag #gamervacciné_e in order to be eligible for prizes worth $25,000. The video gaming space is known to be quite large anywhere in the world, and being able to encourage this community to vaccinate against COVID-19 to be eligible for big prizes could be a game-changer, literally.
The contest was recently announced by Montreal Public Health, and is specifically geared towards video game fans and enthusiasts. Area residents between the ages of 12 and 25 may be eligible to participate as long as they receive their vaccine doses between May 25 and October 1. This initiative was born mainly because vaccination coverage has been reported to be somewhat low among adolescents and young adults in Montreal. Therefore, the public health department, in an effort to increase the vaccination rate in this specific population, has partnered with the gaming industry to inform about how important vaccination is today.
The city will also hold an event at the Palais des congrès on September 11 and 12. People attending will be able to find a small gaming convention, but will also have the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19, killing two birds with one stone. “To date, the population (in Montreal) has responded very well to vaccination, except for 12- to 17-year-olds,” said Dr. Paul Le Guerrier, one of the directors of the city’s vaccination campaign. “We’ve put a lot of effort into reaching young people, but the video-gaming community is one we haven’t tried to reach directly yet.”