Backgrounder: New Projects Funded Under the Immunization Partnership Fund


June 2021

The Government of Canada launched the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) in 2016 to support projects to improve access to vaccines and encourage vaccine uptake. In 2020, this fund received $64 million to support projects aimed at improving vaccination coverage in Canada in three priority areas:

  • Build capacity of health care providers as vaccinators and vaccination promoters
  • Support community-based COVID-19 education, outreach, and vaccine promotion
  • Build capacity for evidence-based vaccine communication

The funding includes:

  • $30.25 million for community-led projects to develop tailored, targeted tools and educational resources to raise awareness of, and confidence in, COVID-19 vaccines. These funds will also support the efforts of community members and leaders to increase vaccine confidence and address barriers to access and acceptance within their communities.
  • $32.5 million to be dispersed over 2.5 years to support provincial and territorial governments in enhancing their electronic vaccination registries to help monitor vaccine uptake.
  • $1.3 million to amend existing funded projects to incorporate measures and activities to address COVID-19.

Four new projects funded by the IPF are:

Lead organization: Eastern Ontario Health Unit

Project Name: A tailored automated COVID vaccine communication strategy to build primary care providers' capacity to address vaccine hesitancy among their patients

Description: The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) will work with up to 300 family physicians and nurse practitioners across Canada to build their capacity to deliver evidence-based messaging to support COVID-19 vaccine uptake among their patients. This includes developing tailored messaging to send electronically to specific segments of their patient population who are less likely to have received the vaccine based on factors such as reason for vaccine hesitancy, age, language, education level, rurality, gender, and ethnicity. The EOHU is collaborating with the Canadian Primary Care Information Network and the Institut du Savoir at the Montfort Hospital on this project.

Funding: Up to $450,000

Lead organization: Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness

Project Name: Improving COVID-19 Vaccination Service for African Nova Scotians

Description: This project is being implemented in collaboration with the Health Association of African Canadians, Association of Black Social Workers, Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, Nova Scotia Health, and the Canadian Center for Vaccinology/Dalhousie University/St. Francis Xavier University. This community-based and culturally specific education, promotion and outreach campaign will promote the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to African Nova Scotians. This campaign will involve a marketing strategy that leverages additional, trusted community leaders to champion the COVID-19 vaccine and diverse communication approaches to improve support for, and access to, COVID-19 vaccines among African Nova Scotians. Through community-level, grassroots engagement, this project will support equitable vaccine access for all People of African Descent in Nova Scotia and provide culturally relevant information about the COVID-19 vaccines that reflects the diversity of needs, values, and priorities of communities.

Funding: Up to $430,000

Lead organization: University of British Columbia

Project Name: Community Engagement Matters: Empowering Local Solutions for COVID-19 Immunization Uptake in Western Canada

Description: The University of British Columbia's Innovation Support Unit (ISU) is developing a novel facilitated workshop approach to help communities reduce structural barriers to COVID-19 immunization. The ISU will train and mentor an interprovincial network of workshop facilitators across four Western Provinces, building more local capacity to generate grassroots solutions and enhance vaccination uptake. Through this project, the ISU will adapt its established Primary And Community Care (PACC) community planning tool to create immunization-PACC (iPACC) Mapping. iPACC will bring together local public health officials, primary care providers, community organizations, and municipal and cultural leaders to discuss local barriers and co-design community-driven solutions to enhance vaccine uptake. By taking a patient-centred approach, iPACC workshops will highlight specific structural and equity barriers faced by the local populations. The project will engage communities to adapt their local vaccination programs to better address access barriers and reduce vaccine hesitancy.

Funding: Up to $419,000

Lead organization: Women's Health in Women's Hands

Project Name: Optimizing COVID-19 Uptake among racialized women in the Greater Toronto Area

Description: Women's Health in Women's Hands will work in partnership with community leaders and community-based health care organizations serving racialized women to develop and implement culturally tailored and responsive tools, resources and webinars to improve vaccine uptake among women from the African, Caribbean, Black, Latin American and South Asian communities living in Toronto and surrounding areas. The project will also involve recruiting community outreach workers and educators to champion the COVID-19 vaccine within their communities and social networks to promote vaccine uptake.

Funding: Up to $450,000

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