A student at Senator Reid Elementary in Surrey takes a quiz through Kids Boost Immunity which donates vaccines to UNICEF Canada. Students at the school have answered more than 50,000 questions and donated more than 3,000 vaccines. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

A “friendly rivalry” at a Surrey elementary school has resulted in more than 3,000 vaccines being donated to UNICEF Canada for children around the world

Kids Boost Immunity (KBI) is a Canadian health platform designed to raise literacy about immunization in schools. The program, according to kidsboostimmunity.com, is “designed to align with provincial curriculums in science and social studies around various tops related to immunization and global health.”

KBI was launched in April of 2018. Kids Boost Immunity was piloted in B.C. with funding from the B.C. Ministry of Health before receiving additional funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada to expand in schools across the country for the 2018/2019 school year.

The program’s website includes lesson plans that are each paired with an online quiz.

Ian Roe, national manager of Kids Boost Immunity, said children can earn one vaccine per quiz, but there’s a catch.

“You have to get 80 per cent. There’s an incentive there for the kid — if they don’t get 80 per cent — to go back and do it again, but they have to do all the questions again,” he said. “A lot of kids do that because they want to get the vaccine.”

Students at Senator Reid Elementary in north Surrey have been working on the lesson plans and quizzes through Kids Boost Immunity since the beginning of the school year.

To date, 127 students in Grades 5 to 7 have answered more than 50,000 questions and earned 3,144 vaccines for children.

Grade 6/7 teacher Chris Patey said his class began using the program and then challenged four other classes, including Tanis Filiatrault’s Grade 6/7 class.

“We all like friendly rivalries. We all play dodgeball together. We all play capture the flag together. We’re very inclusive,” Patey said.

Then he challenged a Grade 5 class.

“They ended up taking first place away from all of us. They came in out of nowhere,” he said.

Patey said the program is planned specifically around Grade 6 immunizations.

READ ALSO: Immunization clinic offered after measles scare at Surrey high school, Nov. 8, 2018

READ ALSO: Langley school district plans to keep a list of unvaccinated children, June 20, 2018

READ ALSO: Measles scare sends students and staff home at Lower Mainland school, Sept. 13, 2018

“We usually have to deal with this every year, and they’re always so afraid. We’re trying to take the stigma away from getting a nasty needle or big shots by bringing in some of the challenges that kids from other countries and adults from other countries have to face,” Patey said.

“Once they appreciated it more, they understood a little bit more that we are very privileged here to have access.”

Filiatrault said that once the students learned vaccines would be donated, they were “super excited.”

“That’s one of the things that we definitely love about it. It helps to connect them to the rest of the world, helping children in other countries that don’t have the same health benefits and opportunities that we do,” she said.

Being a “predominately South Asian neighbourhood,” Patey said, the teachers are “really aware of the fact that a lot of these kids and their families have come from situations in India, Pakistan and a lot of the Middle Eastern countries that don’t have the same kind of access to health care.”

“It really brings it home to them saying, ‘My cousins don’t have this. My cousins can’t get this because they live out in the village and doctors come to them once every month and then there’s a lineup 1,000 people deep,’” he said.

Filiatrault said that through KBI, students and teachers learned “1.5 million children die every year due to preventable disease.” She said that because the program’s resources provide evidence-based knowledge, “you know you can trust the information.”

KBI’s website says that “although immunization is widely heralded as a miracle of modern medicine, the spread of misinformation online has resulted in some parents choosing to skip certain vaccines or avoid immunizations altogether.” As a result, the program was developed “as part of a larger effort to find new ways to counter misinformation on the internet.”

READ ALSO: CARP started initiative to reduce cost of high-dose flu shot, Oct. 8, 2018

READ ALSO: Rabies vaccine snub worries Surrey mom, July 24, 2018

Roe said the program was “sort of riffed off of the craze for quizzes.”

“With so many of them online now of every strip imaginable (such as) ‘Which Game of Thrones Character Are You? Take the quiz.’ This is sort of learning for good, in a sense.”

A map on KBI’s website shows eight schools in the Surrey school district are currently taking part in the program.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

B.C. NDP’s throne speech speaks of benefits to B.C., says MLA Scott Fraser

Fraser agrees to meet with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs over pipeline

Port Alberni’s Old Puckers playing for BC Children’s Hospital

CFOX’s hockey team will make the long trek to central Vancouver Island for the game

BIZ BEAT: Get a head start on spring cleaning in Port Alberni

Chris Fenton walks across a desert to raise funds for ACAWS

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read