With Manitoba lowering the minimum age down to 18 for a COVID-19 vaccine, the province is hiring prominent social media influencers to help spread the word and increase vaccinations, particularly among young Indigenous Manitobans.
Comedian Sherry McKay is one of them, and is using her own story to convince young people — including her 11,000 Instagram followers — to get the shot.
“Because I was on the fence (about getting the vaccine) for so long, I ended up getting COVID myself,” McKay said.
“It’s something that I completely regret, taking so much time to make those decisions, so that’s why this is super important to me.”
McKay is part of the new #protectourpeoplemb campaign, which also features local Indigenous influencers, including cosmetics businesswoman Brandi Woodhouse, community activist Michael Redhead Champagne and singer-songwriter Leonard Sumner.
Even when she wanted to get vaccinated, McKay said, there was still a lot of confusion around where and when to go, and she hopes the new campaign, which includes a website with COVID-19 resources, will help others in the same situation.
“There was a pop-up site and I missed it because I didn’t get the information,” she said.
“I was really trying to get vaccinated and I just didn’t know where to go, and the information wasn’t out there.”