CPHA Canvax

Immunization Partnership Fund

Currently, too few Canadians are being vaccinated and Canada is not meeting its vaccination coverage goals.  As a result, Canadians still experience preventable illness and death from these diseases.  Recognizing this public health challenge, the Government of Canada through Budget 2016, committed $25 million over five years in new investments to improve vaccination coverage rates in Canada and address reasons why some Canadians are hesitant to get their vaccines.  

Approximately $2-3 million annually was dedicated to the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF), the Public Health Agency of Canada’s first grants and contributions stream dedicated to improving vaccination coverage by supporting partners in implementing interventions in three priority areas: 

  1. Enabling vaccination/healthcare providers to vaccinate their patients: Interventions that improve the ability of vaccinators and public health programs to identify under and un-immunized patients and increase vaccination coverage. 
  2. Increasing demand for vaccination: Interventions which address gaps in Canadian’s knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about vaccination, and raise awareness of vaccination benefits, requirements and where to get vaccinated, and 
  3. Enhancing access to vaccination services:  Interventions that address systemic barriers to developing, delivering, and accessing vaccination programs and/or services.

Initial Solicitation

In 2016-2017, provincial and territorial Ministries of Health were invited to submit proposals aligning with the first IPF priority: enabling healthcare providers to vaccinate patients.

5 projects were funded as a result of this solicitation:  

  • British Columbia Ministry of Health – Implementation of an electronic immunization reminder/recall system to automate reminder calls for booked immunization appointments across all 39 health centres in the Interior Health Authority.
  • Alberta Health – Pilot testing of a text message reminder/recall intervention for a child’s 18-month immunization appointment in three communities.  Text messages will be in sent to parents in their language of choice and will include general information on the importance of immunization and the vaccine to be administered.
  • Manitoba Health, Senior and Active Living – Identification of under-immunized districts in Manitoba through mapping of vaccine uptake, and development of local intervention strategies to increase vaccine uptake in children living in these districts.
  • Quebec – CIUSSS de l’Estrie – Provision of specialized training to healthcare providers (HCPs) in Quebec maternity wards, which includes motivational interviewing techniques to enable HCPs to better communicate the benefits of vaccination and address concerns of vaccine hesitant parents.
  • Prince Edward Island Department of Health Wellness – A province-wide initiative to increase adult immunization rates by upgrading healthcare provider capacity to identify under/un-immunized individuals; enhancing their capacity to communicate effectively about immunization; and, developing a targeted communication strategy and social marketing campaign to promote adult immunization.

Other projects funded in 2016-17 included:

  • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute - Expansion and enhancement of the CANimmunize mobile application (a free, pan-Canadian immunization App designed for Canadians to store their vaccination records on their mobile phones and provide appointment reminders, and to provide local outbreak notifications and other information specific to each province and territory).
  • Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada - An exploratory study of vaccination issues during pregnancy and identification of practices and tools required to address them.
  • C.D. Howe Institute - Review of immunization policies and best practices across Canada.
  • Canadian Public Health Association - Development of a national immunization resource centre to serve as a repository of evidence-informed tools and strategies.
  • British Columbia Centre for Disease Control - To monitor vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically-attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza in Canada and to provide estimates of vaccine protection to public health and immunization stakeholders and the Canadian public. 
  • Canadian Paediatric Society - Development of an online education module and in-person training to provide health care providers with increased skills to effectively counsel clients in overcoming vaccine hesitancy.
  • Public Health Association of British Columbia – Development of 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.

Second Solicitation

In 2017-2018, the IPF launched its second solicitation to provincial and territorial Ministries of Health. The scope of this solicitation was extended from an emphasis on tools and training for health care providers, to include projects that mitigate barriers to developing, delivering and accessing immunization programming, and increase demand for vaccinations.  

Other IPF Activities to Date

Recognizing the unique vaccination-related challenges in the North, the IPF is also working with each of the territorial governments to provide dedicated funding of $500K to each over a three-year period (2018/19 – 2020/21).  

Last Reviewed: November 13, 2018

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