Government of Canada Welcomes Task Force Report on Post COVID-19 Condition

News release

Dr. Nemer provides executive summary of the Task Force report

December 14, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be guided by the latest science, evidence and research. To promote and protect the health and safety of Canadians, the Government of Canada continues its work to understand how COVID-19 affects people, including its longer-term symptoms. Post COVID-19 condition (PCC) or “long COVID” refers to symptoms experienced more than three months after an initial infection. While scientific knowledge of this condition is growing, much is still unknown.

The Government of Canada is working with national and international experts, as well as provinces and territories, to advance knowledge of PCC to better understand it and support people who have or continue to experience longer-term effects and to effectively prevent future cases. Given the complexity of this condition, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Health Canada (HC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) are working together to coordinate important research and data gathering efforts to inform future work, including health care system monitoring and support for patients.

Dr. Nemer established a multidisciplinary Task Force on Post COVID-19 Condition to investigate and advise on ways to address post COVID-19 condition in Canada. The product of their deliberations will be a report that takes into account existing scientific literature, published evidence, experience of health care providers and the perspectives of people with lived experience. The report’s executive summary and recommendations, released today, propose an integrated framework for addressing PCC in Canada. The full report is expected to be released by end of January.

Officials from PHAC, HC, and CIHR will review the recommendations, which will be critical in informing future all-inclusive action in responding to PCC. In response to the report, the Government of Canada has established a Post COVID-19 Condition Secretariat within PHAC to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to address evidence and data gaps around the condition.

To further expand knowledge of PCC, the Government of Canada has taken a number of additional actions this past year. Budget 2022 provided $20 million over five years for CIHR to establish a Canadian PCC Research Network to improve the understanding of the biological, clinical, mental health, health systems and population health impacts of the condition. The network will also leverage this research to develop programs and policies regarding the condition. The CIHR will announce the establishment of this Network in early 2023.

Through collaboration among PHAC, Statistics Canada, and the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF), a population-based survey (the Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey -Cycle 2) was launched in April 2022, to estimate the prevalence of PCC in adults living in Canada and provide information on risk factors, symptoms, and impacts on daily functioning to better inform our response.

The Government of Canada will continue to work with the provinces, territories and other partners in Canada and around the world to monitor current and emerging national and international evidence on PCC. Key areas of interest include how common longer-term effects are, the types of complications that may occur, who is most at risk of developing complications and identifying effective measures for its prevention, treatment, and management.


“Important action is needed to help Canadians affected by post COVID-19 condition and to prevent its effects. Thank you, Dr. Nemer and members of the task force for your research on PCC and the recommendations that will guide our all-inclusive work to prevent, treat, and manage this condition. As COVID continues to circulate in our communities, research shows that two or more doses prior to infection may help reduce the risk of developing PCC so we should all be staying up to date with our vaccinations.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Evidence-informed decision-making is vital for good public policy, and I am grateful to our task force members for contributing their time and expertise to advise on the latest science related to post COVID-19 condition. Recognizing that there are urgent clinical and patient needs to be addressed, as well as mid- to longer-term actions to be taken, the task force is making recommendations on dealing with the health and socioeconomic impacts of PCC in Canada.”

Mona Nemer, PhD
Chief Science Advisor of Canada and Chair of the Task Force on Post COVID-19 Condition

“More data and research is needed to better understand the longer term physical and psycho-social impacts of post COVID-19 condition among people in Canada. From evidence to date, we know that PCC represents a significant health issue in our country. A whole of government approach is essential in addressing evidence and data gaps, along with supporting people in Canada in preventing, managing and recovering from PCC.”

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

“The post COVID-19 condition is increasingly recognized to be a major consequence of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, affecting the health and wellbeing of innumerable people living in Canada. Through ongoing investments in both the science underlying this condition and its impacts on society, CIHR is committed to supporting this broad initiative that will deepen our understanding of the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection and provide us with a timely evidence-based and equitable response to the post COVID-19 condition.”

Dr. Michael J. Strong
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick facts

  • PHAC provides information on PCC on, including general information for Canadians, information for Health Professionals, and information on the associations and safety of COVID-19 vaccination and PCC. The online resources are updated regularly as new evidence becomes available.

  • To support research into COVID-19, the CIHR has invested $414.8 million in 965 research projects since March 2020, of which $17.7 million was for targeted research studies on PCC.

  • In mid-October, a second preliminary release from the CCAHS Cycle 2 focused on PCC. It provided insights into the prevalence estimates for PCC in Canada, as well as an overview of some of the most common symptoms being reported and their impacts on daily activities.

  • PHAC launched a targeted solicitation process in 2022 allocating $9 million over three years to fund the development and dissemination of clinical practice guidelines PCC that consider the Canadian context including diverse populations.

  • A recent nationally representative survey of adults Canadians undertaken by Statistics Canada on behalf of the CITF and PHAC found that:

    • 14.8% of adults with a confirmed or suspected infection, experienced longer-term COVID-19 symptoms,
    • 47.3% of adults that experienced longer-term COVID-19 symptoms, experienced symptoms for a year or longer,
    • 21.3% of adults that experienced longer-term COVID-19 symptoms, said that their symptoms often or always limited their daily activities.
  • Additional efforts to better understand PCC in children and youth are also underway. PHAC is working with paediatricians across the country through the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program (CPSP), which, in August 2022, launched a two-year surveillance study on PCC. Data from this study will offer insights into the characteristics of the paediatric population living with this emerging condition, and eventually, approaches for its management.

Associated links


Guillaume Bertrand
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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