Point Douglas woman designs and distributes COVID-19 vaccine pamphlets

Kaili Juliak (Source: Michelle Gerwing/CTV News)

A North Point Douglas woman is trying to get more of her neighbours talking and asking questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

“I found people in general had a lot of questions about the vaccine and I wanted to make sure that people had access to information that they needed to make their own decision,” said Kaili Juliak.

Along with a few collaborators, Juliak has put together a pamphlet answering the most common vaccine questions she was hearing from people in her area.

“I find that different communities have different questions so this was tailored initially to North Point Douglas and Point Douglas area, and is now expanded to most of the North End,” she said.

In the last few weeks, Juliak has made packages of five copies of the pamphlet to give to established community outreach organizations, like the North Point Douglas Women’s Resource Centre and the Bear Clan.

Juliak said the idea actually started with answering just one main question she was hearing from her neighbours: does the COVID-19 vaccine change my DNA?’

“I found this question across the board in lots of different communities so that was a big one to address,” she said.

Initially, Juliak was just going to draw a diagram showing that RNA, which is used in mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna, is outside a human cell’s nucleus, which houses DNA. The vaccines do not affect it.

“I was going to draw that diagram and post it at the North Point Douglas Women’s Resource Centre,” she said. “When I got there that’s where some brainstorming about some questions happened and I realized there was interest for the pamphlet to be distributed during patrols.”

Juliak said many people living in marginalized communities have a justifiable reason to have little trust in authority, which is why she wanted to do this using the research she has done on her own.

“I want this to come from just a regular person,” she said. “I don’t have an agenda except for having the people around me in my community feel safe and make safe decisions so I thought I was going to do what I could to protect those around me.”

In a few weeks, Juliak is going back to the organizations where she’s dropped off pamphlets to see if there’s more interest or if edits can be made to suit each population.

Juliak has been funding the pamphlet project on her own. She said by dropping off just a few pamphlets at government-subsidized community organizations to make copies then the government is indirectly paying for printing.

Juliak said she is definitely going to look into the recently announced community outreach and incentive grant announced by the province Thursday.

According to a presentation on vaccine uptake and hesitancy from the province dated June 3, at 40.1 per cent, Point Douglas South is an area of the province with one of the lowest percentage of people vaccinated with at least one dose.