#TeamVaccine: Exploring the History of Toronto’s COVID-19 Vaccination Initiative through Social Media

Robert Paul

Award: 2023 Project Grant

In 2021, Toronto’s healthcare institutions – its academic hospitals, community health centres and faculties of health sciences – came together to plan, coordinate, staff and promote large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Toronto and in its surrounding areas. The size, the scale and the collaboration of this vaccine campaign were unprecedented in Toronto history.

Through interviews and social media research, Robert’s project will document the history of this mass vaccination initiative, focusing on its people, its institutions, and its legacies. More specifically, it will explore the impact, if any, of the social media hashtag “#TeamVaccine” on this vaccine campaign, and on how people and/or institutions engaged.

As the pandemic recedes, capturing the memories and lessons of such a rare and impactful historical event is vitally important for its participants, policymakers, and the public. It will also provide a record for future researchers to analyze, to draw upon, should history repeat.