Toronto's public health agency is using kids in its new advertising campaign to convince parents to vaccinate their children.

The posters and videos, which were unveiled by Toronto Public Health Monday, feature kids explaining how vaccines work and why they are needed.

A few of them describe vaccines as working "like a shield," while one said vaccines tell bodies to "fight the germs."

Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, says the campaign uses a "lighthearted and creative approach to promote vaccines."

Although 94 per cent of students, between seven and 17, were properly vaccinated in 2018-2019, these latest figures show there are parents and families objecting to take vaccines, she said. 

Two to three per cent of families, who did not vaccinate their children, had medical reasons, and another 1.7 per cent said it was because of religious or philosophical objections, de Villa said. 

De Villa added that, earlier this year, the World Health Organization called vaccine hesitancy one of the most important health threats facing the world today.

“Over time, immunization has saved more lives than any other health care intervention.” she said Monday. “We see this as a campaign with children at the centre of it, but it’s really for everybody."  

Toronto Public Health said the light-hearted videos, which are less than a minute long each, are now available on YouTube. 

The agency said it hopes the videos will spark conversations in families and minimize vaccine hesitancy in the city.

The posters will be seen in bus shelters, on social media and on the big screens at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto.

With files from The Canadian Press