Immunization Partnership Fund
Vaccination is one of the world's greatest public health achievements. For over 50 years, vaccination has helped prevent and control the spread of serious diseases in Canada and abroad. It is among the safest medical measures available.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2 million deaths are prevented worldwide every year due to vaccination.
Vaccination has wiped out smallpox completely and has successfully and dramatically lowered the rates of many other diseases in countries with strong vaccination programs. Some diseases, like polio, have been eliminated from Canada and the rest of the Americas because of vaccines.
Today, not enough Canadians are vaccinated. As a result, Canadians are still at risk for needless illness and death from infectious diseases that could be prevented through vaccination. Recognizing this public health challenge, the Government of Canada committed $25 million in Budget 2016 to increase vaccination coverage in Canada.
Through Budget 2016 the Government of Canada is working to:
- identify under and un-immunized populations
- increase vaccine acceptance and uptake
- reduce vaccine-preventable disease
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About the Immunization Partnership Fund
The Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) receives approximately $3 million each year over five years (2016-2021) through Budget 2016.
The fund is designed to improve vaccination coverage by supporting our health partners in three priority areas:
- enabling healthcare providers to support their patients in their vaccination decisions
- identifying under- and unvaccinated people and developing tools for healthcare providers to increase vaccination rates
- increasing demand for vaccination
- addressing gaps in
- raising awareness about
- addressing gaps in
- enhancing access to vaccination services
- removing barriers to developing programs and in accessing vaccination services
Immunization Partnership Fund: Currently funded projects
To address the priority areas outlined above, the IPF is funding a number of projects across the country.
Currently funded projects
Creation of a Canadian Immunization Resource Centre (CANVAX)
This project, led by The Canadian Public Health Association, is designed to provide ready access to the latest evidence-based products and tools via the online Canadian Vaccination Evidence Resource and Exchange Centre. The Centre primarily targets those who are responsible for the planning, development and promotion of immunization programs, and aims to increase their understanding, awareness and capacity to enhance vaccine acceptance and uptake in Canada.
Decreasing Vaccine Hesitancy: Enhancing the knowledge and skills of health care professionals
This project, led by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), has developed a workshop and an online education module on vaccine hesitancy. These courses will provide health care providers with a better understanding of the common causes of vaccine hesitancy and the most effective ways to counsel their patients and families to make informed decisions. Additionally, CPS has reinstated the online version of its Education Program for Immunization Competencies (EPIC), which is designed to help health care professionals provide accurate and complete information to their patients about immunization.
Development of a mobile enhanced immunization information system (CANImmunize)
CANImmunize Inc. has developed a smartphone and web-based immunization tracking application for Canadians. It offers appointment reminders, information about vaccines, local outbreak notifications and other information specific to each province or territory.
Examining and overcoming barriers to vaccine hesitancy in Yukon
Yukon Health and Social Services is implementing a project with the goal of understanding the factors that contribute to vaccine uptake and incomplete/non-vaccination. The data that is gathered will be used to inform evidence-based strategies aimed at improving vaccination service delivery and uptake in Yukon.
Helping health care providers address the drop in childhood immunization coverage between ages12 and 18 months: A pilot test of text message reminders
Data consistently shows that infant vaccination rates declines between 12 to 18 months, and there are a number of reasons for this including the need for parents or caregivers to take time off work, forgetting about appointments booked in advance, as well as vaccine hesitancy. Recognizing these challenges and to promote vaccination coverage among this age group, the Alberta Ministry of Health is pilot testing a text message reminder/recall strategy at the time of a child's intended 18-month vaccination appointment.
HPV Vaccination in Schools: Developing effective strategies for increasing vaccine coverage
The Institute national de santé publique du Québec, in collaboration with the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec, will develop and evaluate different strategies designed to increase vaccination coverage rates in select elementary schools within the province. These parent-focused strategies include motivational interviewing, education, decision making tools, and reminders to submit consent forms
Identification of under-immunized districts in Manitoba through mapping of vaccine uptake
This project, led by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, is developing maps that identify where there are populations of Manitobans who are not vaccinated or whose vaccinations are not up to date. The project will also identify the potential causes of low vaccine uptake in order to tailor local strategies aimed at increasing vaccination coverage rates
Immunize Nunavut: Using data to inform practice
Immunize Nunavut, led by the Department of Health in Nunavut, will improve the quality of vaccination data that will then be used to inform tailored interventions aimed at increasing vaccination coverage rates and to strengthen existing vaccination delivery programs
Immunization Outreach Services
This project, led by the British Columbia Fraser Health Authority, is designed to enhance access to vaccination and increase vaccine coverage for 2-year olds in the Surrey and Chilliwack regions of British Columbia by improving services for more vulnerable populations such as hard to reach families, Indigenous Canadians, newcomers to Canada, and low-income families.
Improving Immunization Rates Among Pregnant Women in Canada - Working with care providers and the public
This project, led by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, is gathering information through surveys and focus groups to better understand the knowledge, attitudes and practices of both health care providers and women of reproductive age related to vaccination during pregnancy. This knowledge will be used to inform the development of tools, resources and educational programs for clinicians, allied healthcare providers and women.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness monitoring
This multi-year project, led by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, monitors vaccine effectiveness against medically-attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza in Canada and provides estimates of vaccine protection to public health and immunization stakeholders and the Canadian public.
Kids Boost Immunity
Kids Boost Immunity (KBI), developed by the Public Health Association of British Columbia, is a school-based, online learning platform that is designed to raise student literacy around the importance of vaccines by affecting changes in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. Based on the province's science, health and social studies curriculum, KBI utilizes a variety of interventions, including quizzes and classroom competitions.
Midwives and Vaccination: Delivering evidence based care
The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) will undertake this project with the goals of: gaining a stronger understanding of the needs and challenges faced by midwives regarding the availability of information about vaccines and how this knowledge is shared with their clients; increasing midwives' knowledge about vaccines and their skills and abilities when discussing vaccines with their clients; and making appropriate vaccine-related materials accessible to midwifery clients. This project will also consider the unique needs and capacities of Indigenous midwives and Indigenous clients.
Nova Scotia's Enhanced Immunization Access Project
Led by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, this project will assess the immunization coverage rates of seven-year-old children through a parent survey. The results will help identify barriers to immunization that some Nova Scotian parents and guardians are experiencing and, for the first time, will verify the immunization coverage rates for this age group. The survey results will also inform the development of targeted interventions, focusing on the communities that emerge as disadvantaged when it comes to staying up to date with immunizations, ultimately, improving coverage rates in Nova Scotia's children.
In addition, the following completed projects were funded through the IPF.
Enhancing adult immunization coverage in Prince Edward Island
This project, led by the Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness, has implemented a multi-faceted, province-wide initiative to increase adult vaccination rates by working with health care providers to increase their ability to identify under and unvaccinated individuals through the development and use of an Immunization Assessment Tool. As well, this project will enhance health care provider's ability to communicate more effectively with their patients about vaccination.
Implementation of an educational strategy to promote immunization based on motivational interviewing techniques in maternity hospitals in Québec
In collaboration with provincial partners, the Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et Services de l'Estrie - Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke implemented this project to increase infant vaccination coverage rates in Quebec. To do this, health care providers from the 13 largest maternity wards in Quebec received training in motivational interviewing techniques specific to infant vaccination. Motivational interviewing allows health care providers to better address the concerns of parents who are reluctant to vaccinate their children and to support them in their decision-making process regarding infant vaccination.
Implementing an Electronic Immunization Reminder/Recall System in British Columbia's Interior Health Region
This project, led by the British Columbia Interior Health Authority, has implemented an electronic immunization reminder/recall system to automate reminder calls for booked immunization appointments across all 39 health centres in the Interior Health Authority
Vaccination Policy: The Way Forward
The C.D. Howe Institute conducted two detailed province-by-province assessments of Canadian vaccination policies and best vaccination practices, reviewed federal government policies and practices, and produced detailed recommendations for governments on how to improve vaccination policy in Canada for both children and adults.
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