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02 Dec, Friday
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Montreal Families

Digital comic book uses aliens to explain the immune system

A new digital comic book about alien invasion released in January offers a new tool for parents, doctors and teachers to educate elementary school students about the immune system and the role of immunization in defending against illness.

Immunity Warriors: Invasion of the Alien Zombies was created by Dr. Kumanan Wilson — a doctor, researcher and comic book fan — in partnership with students and staff at Algonquin College, as a way to explain complex scientific concepts to kids in an engaging and memorable way.

Available for free at canimmunize.ca or via the CANImmunize apps for iOS and Android, the comic uses a story about forces mobilizing to defend against alien invaders to explain how the immune system works. A French version will be released later this year.

The story was inspired by a visit to a Grade 6 science class. Wilson was asked to speak to the children about the immune system, and decided to explain it with a story. The alien invasion metaphor worked to hold the students’ attention and the physician decided to create a digital comic to reach even more kids.

Wilson approached Algonquin College about partnering on the project, and with the help of a team of senior students with specialties in health and design, the comic was born.

Wilson is also the creator of the CANImmunize app, which makes it easier for Canadians to keep track of their family’s immunizations using their smart phones. Using the free, bilingual app, parents can enter and review the vaccinations their family members have received, get appointment reminders for upcoming vaccinations, find out about outbreaks of diseases nearby, and get expert-approved information about vaccination. More than 170,000 Canadians have downloaded the app via iTunes or Google Play.

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