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
      • knowledge
      • attitudes
      • beliefs
    • raising awareness about
      • benefits
      • requirements
  • 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

As well, the following completed projects were funded through the IPF.

Completed projects

Currently funded projects

Nova Scotia’s Enhanced Immunization Access Project

The goal of the Enhanced Immunization Access Project, led by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, is to increase vaccination coverage rates among children by assessing vaccination status of students entering school. This project will identify if there are certain areas or populations with low vaccination coverage rates and will seek to determine the barriers to vaccination that these groups may be experiencing.

HPV Vaccination in Schools: Developing effective strategies for increasing vaccine coverage

Institute national de santé publique 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.

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.

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.

Northwest Territories Immunization Analytics Enhancement, Social Marketing & Coverage Improvement Project

Recognizing that awareness and access to vaccinations impact coverage rates, the Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services is leading a project designed to improve frontline immunization service delivery, as well as identify and increase immunization coverage for select vaccines.

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 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.

Immunization Outreach Services

The Immunization Outreach Services 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 region 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.

Kids Boost Immunity

Kids Boost Immunity (KBI), developed by the Public Health Association of British Columbia, is a school-based, online learning platform called 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 will primarily target those who are responsible for the planning/development/and promotion of immunization programs, and will aim 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 online education modules on vaccine hesitancy. The course 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.

Midwives and Vaccination: Delivering evidence based care

The Canadian Association of Midwives 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; to increase midwives’ knowledge about vaccines and their skills and abilities when discussing vaccines with their clients; and to make appropriate vaccine-related materials accessible to midwifery clients. This project will also consider the unique needs of Indigenous midwives and Indigenous clients.

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.

Completed projects

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. 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

The Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et Services de l'Estrie - Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke implemented this project to increase 18-month vaccination coverage rates among infants in Quebec by providing training in motivational interviewing techniques to health care providers in 13 maternity wards. Motivational interviewing enables health care providers to better communicate the benefits of vaccination and address the concerns of vaccine hesitant parents.

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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