CPHA Canvax

CANVax in Brief are short evidence-based articles that aim to inform, engage and inspire its readers by bringing attention to current and emerging issues in immunization, and by profiling initiatives and activities from across Canada that aim to improve vaccine acceptance and uptake.

Contributions to CANVax in Brief are by invitation only. All articles are reviewed by CANVax staff and by the Expert Review Panel as part of the peer-review process prior to publication. If you have questions about CANVax in Brief, contact us

CANVax Brief Series - CANVax is collaborating with Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) to publish short evidence-based briefs from our CANVax in Brief series throughout 2020. You can read our articles here.


July 21, 2020

The CARD(tm) System: A patient-centred care tool to ease pain and fear during school vaccinations

Anna Taddio, Lucie M. Bucci, Charlotte Logeman, Victoria Gudzak

School-based (mass) vaccination programs are an effective way to reach a large number of youths to deliver recommended vaccines. However, the usual processes used to plan and deliver vaccinations at school are complex and do not systematically prioritize and address student needs and preferences. Failure to include students - the primary clients of school vaccinations - in the planning and delivery of vaccinations can have the unintended effect of undermining vaccination. This article reviews some of the ways current approaches to school vaccinations can cause harm and offers an evidence-based framework for planning and delivering vaccinations in school programs that addresses students' needs and preferences.

June 12, 2020

Beware the public opinion survey's contribution to misinformation and disinformation in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Noni E. MacDonald, Eve Dubé, Devon Greyson D, Janice E. Graham

The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation. Given the large degree of uncertainty, the complexity of the science, and rapidly evolving knowledge, well-intentioned misinformation is not surprising. As scientists race to understand a new disease, partial information and guesswork fill the gap until reliable research evidence is established. Unfortunately, disinformation, defined as deliberately false or misleading information, can be expected when crises are used as opportunities to make money or to undermine existing institutions, including education and health care systems.

May 23, 2020

Overview of Canadian School-Based Immunization Programs

Kodzo Awoenam Adedzi, Eve Dubé

School-based immunization programs are implemented in all Canadian provinces and territories. These programs are an effective and equitable approach to reach and vaccinate children and teenagers, and can reduce the prevalence of many infectious diseases. This CANVax in Brief presents an overview of school-based immunization programs in Canada, the benefits and challenges of school-based vaccination, and ways to optimize these programs.

May 19, 2020

COVID-19: Potential Impact on Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in Canada

Noni MacDonald, Eve Dubé, Lucie Marisa Bucci

The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has led to an unprecedented number of COVID-19 cases and deaths globally, as well as in Canada. This microbe clearly knows no borders or a country's wealth or health status (Worldometer - Coronavirus Cases). Given that there are no effective antivirus therapeutics or a vaccine as of yet, the major strategy for slowing the pandemic has been aggressive containment. This has included widespread testing, quarantine of cases, stay-at-home orders, school closures, physical distancing and community containment such as closing borders, restricting travel and curtailing all, but essential services. Surveillance data are showing that the containment strategy is effective.

March 10, 2020

Designing tailored interventions to address barriers to vaccination

Katrine Habersaat, Noni MacDonald, Eve Dubé

Despite efforts to promote vaccination and make vaccination services easily accessible, vaccination coverage rates remain below the target rate for many vaccines in various jurisdictions. How can we develop effective interventions to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake? This CANVax in Brief presents some insights based on the Tailoring Immunization Programmes approach.

February 14, 2020

Ethics Check-up of Public Health Immunization Programs in Canada

Noni E. MacDonald, Shawn Harmon, Janice E. Graham

The World Health Organization recognizes immunization as one of the most successful and effective public health interventions for saving lives. Its impact reaches far beyond the health and well-being of individuals and communities through improved social determinants of health affecting work productivity, equity, institutional stability, economic development, and innovation. Nevertheless, immunization needs to be subject to independent scrutiny of vaccine research data and manufacturing practices, legal and ethical assurance of informed consent, and social justice issues including the right to access.

December 2, 2019

Refusing Vaccination: Myths and Realities (Vaccinations. Le mythe du refus)

Laurence Monnais - Professor, Scientific Director, Director

Laurence Monnais is the author of the book "Vaccinations. Le mythe du refus," currently available only in French. Her book, intended for non-historians, public health experts, and health care professionals, examines the connection people tend to make between the refusal against vaccines and the "return" of certain diseases that we had thought to be eradicated. This article, prepared by Laurence Monnais for CANVax in Brief, provides a short summary of the arguments in the book.

August 6, 2019

Growing Immunization Resiliency in the Digital Information Age

Noni MacDonald - Professor of Paediatrics (Infectious Diseases)

This brief has been updated for publication in the Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR). To read the updated version in the CANVax Brief Series, please visit CANVax: Promoting immunization resiliency. The original version of this CANVax brief has been archived and is available upon request…

July 2, 2019

Outcomes and unintended consequences of mandatory immunization programs

Noni E. MacDonald, Eve Dubé and Daniel Grandt

Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases occur even in high-income countries that have unrestricted and equitable access to immunizations. The reason is that vaccine uptake rates are not where they need to be for adequate control of vaccine-preventable diseases. As a consequence, several countries have discussed, enacted, or strengthened mandatory childhood immunization legislation. Mandatory immunization is seen as a "simple" solution to the problem.