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Event summary produced by The Globe and Mail Events team. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved. This article has been updated to reflect the latest developments from the COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall Series.

How do the new vaccines developed to fight COVID-19 work, and what can Canadians expect of the vaccination process? These pressing questions, and many more, served as the impetus for creating a series of virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls in a joint effort by The Globe and Mail and The Royal Society of Canada (RSC). The Globe and the RSC have been collaborating for a number of months on the Zero Canada Project, an initiative that seeks to inform the public about COVID-19 by sharing insights from The Globe and Mail newsroom as well as leading experts in science and health care, with the ultimate goal of bringing us closer to the first day that Canada can report zero new cases of the virus.

On June 2, The Globe and Mail and the RSC hosted the final event in our ongoing COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall series, which featured a panel of experts discussing next steps for Canadians after they have received their first or second doses of vaccine. The conversation was hosted by Globe and Mail Health Reporter Andrea Woo, and featured four esteemed experts from across the country, including Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor of pediactrics, microbiology and immunology at the University of Dalhousie, and Director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology; Dr. Gina Ogilivie, a senior public health scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control and a professor at the University of British Columbia; Dr. Alika Lafontaine, an Indigenous health advocate and anesthesiologist for Alberta Health Services, as well as President-Elect of the Canadian Medical Association; and Professor Colleen Flood, Director of the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics. Below you will find the full video playback of the fifth town hall discussion, in addition to the full playbacks of the other four town hall events in this series.

For more information on COVID-19, you can take a look at The Globe’s latest coverage, as well as the RSC’s COVID-19 information hub. More than 300 Canadian experts from multiple disciplines have provided independent analysis of the pandemic in the form of policy briefings for the RSC, tackling key issues related to COVID-19 from a variety of perspectives. You can also stay tuned to to register for our other upcoming events.

Recommended COVID-19 resources from our speakers:

Town Hall Webcast #5 | I’ve taken the vaccine. Now what?

Town Hall Webcast #4 | Vaccine Rollout: Where are we now?

On April 29, The Globe and RSC hosted the fourth event in this town hall series, which focused on the status of Canada’s vaccine rollout, including timelines and what we can expect to see from our public health units in the coming months. The Globe’s Queen’s Park Reporter Laura Stone led an in-depth conversation with four of Canada’s leading health care experts in the fight against COVID-19: Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health and a professor of community health and epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine; Dr. Caroline Colijn, who holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health at Simon Fraser University; Dr. Shelley Deeks, NACI member and Public Health Surveillance Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia’s Department of Health and Wellness; and Dr. Catherine Hankins, co-chair of Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and a professor of public and population health in the School of Population and Global Health at McGill University.

Town Hall Webcast #3: Variants are here - now what?

On March 23, The Globe and Mail and the RSC hosted the third town hall of the series, focused on the emergence of several COVID-19 variants and what this means for Canada’s vaccination process and efforts to end the pandemic. The Globe’s National Health Reporter Kelly Grant was joined in conversation by four leading experts in the fight against COVID-19: Dr. Charu Kaushic, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and a professor in the department of medicine at McMaster University; Dr. Mel Krajden, Medical Director of the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Laboratory, and a professor in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of British Columbia; Professor Bartha Knoppers, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Law and Medicine, and is also the Director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University; and Dr. Lisa Richardson, the Strategic Advisor for Indigenous Health within the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Town Hall Webcast #2: What Do COVID-19 Vaccines Mean for Me?

On February 18, The Globe and the RSC co-hosted the second town hall of the series, focused on the question: “What do COVID-19 vaccines mean for me?” As vaccination rollout ramps up across the country, many Canadians have questions about who receives prioritization first and why; estimated timelines for receiving a vaccine; and how the process might look when it’s your turn. Leading this discussion for viewers was The Globe’s award-winning Health Reporter and Columnist André Picard, who was joined by four esteemed Canadian experts: Dr. Christine Chambers, who is the Killam Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience and Pediatrics at Dalhousie University; Dr. Danièle Behn Smith, Deputy Provincial Health Officer overseeing Indigenous health for B.C.’s provincial health officer (Dr. Bonnie Henry); Dr. Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute and a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto; and Dr. Sharon Straus, Physician-in-Chief at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Town Hall Webcast #1: How New Vaccines Protect Against COVID-19

The first vaccine town hall, broadcast on January 21, was hosted by Ivan Semeniuk, Science Reporter for The Globe and Mail, and featured three esteemed guests from the medical and science professions in Canada: Dr. Michael Houghton, director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute and a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Alberta (he was also a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2020); Dr. Allison McGeer, a professor at the University of Toronto and an infectious disease physician for Sinai Health System; and Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Montreal. The webcast playback below features the panel’s discussion of several important issues regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, including the efficacy of mRNA vaccinations (the basis of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines), the timing and variables involved in multi-dose vaccinations, and why vaccination is an important part of ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

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