Health researchers across Canada launch projects to mitigate impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families


Since March 2020, CIHR has invested nearly $300 million in research to support the Government of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This research spans everything from diagnostics and potential treatments to public health responses and communication strategies.

In June 2021, CIHR launched a research funding opportunity to generate evidence to better understand and help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on children, youth, and families in Canada. At the same time, CIHR launched a funding opportunity to support research that would support COVID-19 vaccination programs across the country.

On December 9, 2021, CIHR announced the approval of 70 projects across the country focused on the impact of the pandemic on children, youth and families and 19 projects focused on vaccine confidence for a total of $13.7 million.

The following are examples of the projects funded:

Understanding and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on children, youth and families

  • Dr. Andrea Simpson at Unity Health Toronto will examine the impact of the pandemic on the care received by pregnant women in Ontario and the health outcomes for these women and their babies.
  • Dr. Karen Lawford at Queen’s University will examine how pregnant Indigenous Peoples in Ontario conceptualize the health and risk of maternity care before and during the pandemic.
  • Dr. Yvonne Bohr at York University will use a strengths-based focus to determine the resources needed to optimize post-pandemic resilience among Inuit youth and families.
  • Dr. Eve Pouliot at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi will investigate the effect of the pandemic on youth, families, and schools in remote parts of the country.
  • Dr. Oluwabukola Salami at the University of Alberta will examine the effect of the pandemic on the mental health of Black youth.
  • Dr. Leslie Roos at the University of Manitoba will promote mental health in children born to mothers experiencing stress and depression during the pandemic.
  • Dr. Anne Fournier at CHU Sainte-Justine will examine transitions to adulthood during the pandemic for youth with special healthcare needs and their families.

Full list of projects

Vaccine confidence

  • Dr. Myles Leslie at the University of Calgary will aim to improve vaccine confidence by helping clinicians have informed and more effective conversations with their patients.
  • Dr. Scott Lear at St-Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver will develop, implement, and evaluate a digital app for increasing vaccine confidence among young adults
  • Dr. Shannon McDonald at BC’s First Nations Health Authority will engage First Nations leadership and community members to gather their perspectives on the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Dr. Ines Colmegna at the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute will examine vaccine confidence among Canadians living with HIV and inflammatory diseases.

Full list of projects

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