Understanding the COVID‑19 Journeys and Vaccine Experiences of Racialized and Immigrant Communities in the Greater Toronto Area
This research explores the “COVID-19 journeys” of racialized and immigrant communities within Peel Region to increase the cultural awareness, safety, and efficacy of health messaging and care for racialized urban communities within Canada. Our novel approach combines spatial modelling of COVID‑19 case rates and vaccine coverage with a qualitative investigation into the pandemic experiences of people living in Peel Region communities. Particular focus will be placed on areas with unique combinations of case exposure and vaccine coverage to reveal what life has been like for people living on the ‘front lines’ of the COVID‑19 pandemic. We are particularly interested in what combinations of factors led to high exposures and how families and communities worked together to support each other during the crisis. We are also interested in the roles played by young adults in immigrant families as interpreters of health information. Furthermore, we are interested in what sources of information people use to determine what behaviours are risky or safe concerning COVID-19, particularly around vaccines. Our overall goal is to contextualize the pandemic experiences of racialized individuals, families, and communities in ways that offer new insight into the factors that shaped the disproportionately high burden of COVID‑19 morbidity and mortality borne by these communities. Our team’s strong links with regional and provincial public and primary health service providers, and our strong track record of community-engaged scholarship within the Greater Toronto Area, will ensure knowledge is shared and mobilized to support action that ultimately leads to improvements in health services for racialized and immigrant Canadians.