Government of Canada funds research on responding to possible adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination

News release

Study to monitor possible adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination

August 12, 2021 | Halifax, NS | Government of Canada

In the fight against COVID-19, it is critical that as many Canadians as possible get vaccinated. That is why the federal government is taking action to make sure every Canadian who wants a vaccine can get one.

Canadians have been doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19, by getting vaccinated and following local public health advice. Today, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, highlighted the Government of Canada's support of the Canadian Immunization Research Network's (CIRN), which is doing important work to monitor vaccination in Canada.

Housed at Dalhousie University, CIRN is a national network of key vaccine researchers who develop and test vaccines and vaccination in Canada. Their work has provided valuable information throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why the Government of Canada announced in July an investment of nearly $800,000 to further CIRN's Special Immunization Clinic (SIC) Network to build Canada's identification and response to the adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. This study, which will be conducted across the country, will help public health authorities and healthcare providers to help Canadians at risk of adverse reactions to safely receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Government of Canada is working closely with experts, provinces and territories and all partners to encourage vaccine confidence and to better understand the barriers people may face in getting vaccinated. Supporting evidence-based solutions helps remove barriers to vaccination and will protect more people―and communities— from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in Canada are proven to be incredibly safe. If you haven't been fully vaccinated yet, please book an appointment to get your first or second dose. For more information regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination, reach out to your healthcare provider, or other trusted and credible sources, such as Canada.ca. The Government of Canada will always provide Canadians with accurate and up-to-date information about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine safety surveillance, so that all communities are safe.

Quotes

"There has never been a more critical time to invest in vaccine research. Canada has had one of the most successful vaccination efforts in the world to date because we've taken an evidence-based approach. It is thanks to people like Dalhousie's Dr. Top and all the researchers at the Canadian Immunization Research Network's Special Immunization Clinic Network that Canadians can continue to have confidence that our COVID-19 response is based on the best information possible."

Andy Fillmore
Member of Parliament for Halifax

"While the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination continue to outweigh the risks, when a person develops an unexpected or serious adverse event that requires medical attention, it is important to determine the possible role of the vaccine and the safety of giving future vaccine doses to this specific person or to people with similar adverse events."

Dr. Karina Top
Lead Investigator and Principal Investigator, Canadian Immunization Research Network Special Immunization Clinic
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University
Investigator, Canadian Center for Vaccinology

"Vaccine safety surveillance is extremely important. We must systematically document and follow up with patients who experience a medically significant or unexpected adverse event. This information is needed to ensure patients receive appropriate care and recommendations on future vaccinations. The findings also help public health officials make important decisions regarding vaccines, when necessary."

Dr. Scott Halperin
Co-Investigator and Principal Investigator, Canadian Immunization Research Network Special Immunization Clinic
Vaccine Surveillance Reference Group Co-Chair

"We are so very proud of our researchers who are serving our country at this time. The important work being done by Dr. Karina Top is ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccines we are using are both effective and safe."

Dr. Jennifer Bain
Associated Vice President Research, Dalhousie University.

Quick Facts

  • This study is an extension of an existing vaccine safety program that provides important public health information about adverse events following immunization (AEFI) for all vaccines authorized for use in adults and children.
  • The results of this research will be reported on a regular basis to federal and provincial/territorial public health authorities and advisory committees.
  • While the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination continue to outweigh the risks, when a patient develops an unexpected or serious adverse event that requires medical attention, it is important to determine the possible role of the vaccine and the safety of giving future vaccine doses to this specific person or to people with similar adverse events.
  • Physicians looking to refer a patient can visit SIC Network Patient Referrals to find the site closest to them.
  • For information on reports of side effects following COVID-19 vaccination, visit Reported side effects following COVID-19 vaccination in Canada

Contacts

Alec MacKinnon
Office of Parliamentary Secretary Andy Fillmore
902-426-8691
alexander.mackinnon.205@parl.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
media@hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Inquiries:
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709

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