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.
In response to Canada's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, in September 2020, the Government of Canada committed an additional $30.25 million (2020-2023) to continue to support efforts to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake among Canadians and reduce vaccine preventable disease.
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About the Immunization Partnership Fund
The Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) initially received approximately $3 million a year for five years (2016-2021) through Budget 2016. In 2020, $30.25 million in additional funding for 2.5 years will allow the Public Health Agency of Canada to continue building on early momentum, while identifying new initiatives to support vaccine confidence, uptake, and access to COVID-19 vaccines. This funding will help Canadians to make healthy and informed COVID-19 vaccination decisions, as well as help them to catch up on routine vaccines that may have been missed during the pandemic.
This funding is designed to protect Canadians from vaccine preventable disease by supporting our health partners in three priority areas:
- Build capacity of Health Care Providers as vaccinators and vaccination promoters by:
- developing tools, training, and evidence-based information for health care providers to counsel individuals on the importance of COVID 19 vaccines and other vaccines
- Support Community-based COVID-19 Education, Promotion and Outreach by:
- addressing gaps in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of Canadians, with a particular emphasis on underserved or marginalized population, related to vaccination
- developing tailored and evidence-based information to increase vaccine confidence and acceptance, with a particular focus on COVID-19 vaccines, including information as to where to access the vaccine(s)
- supporting mechanisms and initiatives that reduce and remove barriers to vaccination, and provide access to vaccination
- Build capacity for Evidence-Based Vaccination Communication by:
- supporting organizations to develop communications strategies and public engagement strategies to foster evidence-based dialogue around vaccines.
Currently funded projects
COVID Mass Vaccination Coverage and Preparation
Led by the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services, this project supports the update and implementation of vaccine surveillance and delivery of knowledge translation activities related to COVID-19, as well as the development and dissemination of locally tailored COVID-19 communications and vaccination related materials.
Funding amount: $100,000
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 health care providers, and aims to increase their understanding, awareness and capacity to enhance vaccine acceptance and uptake in Canada.
Funding amount: 1,847,303
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 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), designed to help health care professionals provide accurate and complete information to their patients about immunization. In response to COVID-19, this project will include training specific to COVID-19 and will integrate the COVID-19 context into existing modules.
Funding amount: $726,704
Done by 2: Improving Equity in Immunization Coverage Rates of Underserved and Vulnerable Populations in Saskatchewan
Led by the Saskatchewan Health Authority, this project is utilizing an electronic immunization reminder system and community program builders (CPBs) to remind clients (parents/guardians with preschool children) that their children are overdue for vaccinations. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will also develop mechanisms for COVID-19 mobile clinics, outreach, and knowledge translation to increase understanding about vaccination and access to vaccination for families and high-risk populations.
Funding amount: $650,642
Examining and overcoming barriers to vaccine hesitancy in Yukon
Yukon Health and Social Services has implemented a project with the goal of understanding the factors that contribute to vaccine uptake and incomplete/non-vaccination. The data that has been gathered is being used to inform evidence-based strategies aimed at improving vaccination service delivery and uptake in Yukon. In support of Yukon’s COVID-19 response, COVID-19 education, communication, and outreach activities are integrated in this project.
Funding amount: $599,999
Helping health care providers address the drop in childhood immunization coverage between ages 12 and 18 months: A pilot test of text message reminders
Data consistently shows that infant vaccination rates decline 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, 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.
Funding amount: $320,055
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, is developing and evaluating 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.
Funding amount: $723,804
Immunize Nunavut: Using data to inform practice
Immunize Nunavut, led by the Department of Health in Nunavut, has improved the quality of vaccination data that is being used to inform tailored interventions aimed at increasing vaccination coverage rates and to strengthen existing vaccination delivery programs. In response to the pandemic, COVID-19 related information and vaccination materials are being developed and disseminated.
Funding amount: $590,000
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.
Funding amount: $709,175
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 (SOGC), has gathered 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 was used to inform the development of tools, resources and educational programs for clinicians, allied healthcare providers and women. These materials are now being updated to incorporate elements related to COVID-19 as a means to address increased vaccination anxiety or hesitancy due to the pandemic.
Funding amount: $1,052,726
Influenza vaccine effectiveness monitoring
This multi-year project, led by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), 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. BCCDC is also monitoring COVID-19 and non-influenza respiratory viruses, including detection and derivation of future vaccine effectiveness.
Funding amount: $2,732,965
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. Specific learning modules dedicated to COVID-19 are being incorporated into this initiative.
Funding amount: $1,139,916
Midwives and Vaccination: Delivering evidence based care
The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) has undertaken this project with the goals of: understanding the challenges faced by midwives regarding the availability of information about vaccines and how this knowledge is shared with their clients; increasing midwives' knowledge and competencies around vaccines; and making appropriate vaccine-related materials accessible to midwifery clients. This project has also considered the unique needs and capacities of Indigenous midwives and Indigenous clients. Building on early results, CAM is developing and disseminating an online training module to position midwives as vaccination promoters, with a particular focus on COVID-19 vaccines.
Funding amount: $399,644
Nova Scotia's Enhanced Immunization Access Project
Led by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, this project has assessed the immunization coverage rates of seven-year-old children through a parent survey. The results has helped to identify barriers to immunization that some Nova Scotian parents and guardians are experiencing and verify the immunization coverage rates for this age group. The survey results 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.
Funding amount: $843,530
In addition, the following completed projects were funded through the IPF.
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.
Funding amount: $3,812,397
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 enhanced health care provider's ability to communicate more effectively with their patients about vaccination.
Funding amount: $376,521
Identification of under immunized districts in Manitoba through mapping of vaccine uptake
This project, led by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, developed maps that identified where there are populations of Manitobans who are not vaccinated or whose vaccinations are not up to date. The project also identified the potential causes of low vaccine uptake in order to tailor local strategies aimed at increasing vaccination coverage rates.
Funding amount: $595,784
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.
Funding amount: $520,000
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
Funding amount: $195,814
Improving the Vaccination Experience at School: What CARDS are you going to play?
An adaptation of a school-based vaccination intervention called The CARD™ System (C-Comfort, A-Ask, R-Relax, D-Distract), which University of Toronto researchers evaluated its effectiveness when implemented in the school vaccination program in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health using a randomized controlled trial design.
Funding amount: $48,782
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.
Funding amount: $197,950
For more information, please email the Immunization Partnership Fund at email@example.com.
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