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The Project

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on the health, social and economic well-being of people in Canada and around the world. It has led to many significant changes in our daily lives.

Vaccinating the Canadian population with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is essential for fully re-opening the Canadian economy and a return to “normalcy”.

Ensuring all Canadians have access to evidenced-based information on the importance of vaccination is a challenging yet crucial goal. Many Canadians, including those historically underserved and marginalized by public health services, and those negatively affected by a range of social determinants of health (SDOH) including gender, ethnicity, occupation, homelessness, and incarceration, may require additional support to help them understand, have confidence in, and receive available vaccines.

Additionally, vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation concerning COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccines in general remains a significant challenge to the national vaccination efforts underway. Instilling confidence in COVID-19 vaccines can be particularly challenging given the spread of misinformation related to these vaccines. Engendering trust, confidence and acceptance requires innovative approaches.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign is the largest mass vaccination campaign ever undertaken. As such, it presents an opportunity to identify and address longstanding systemic barriers to vaccination – including acceptance and uptake of vaccines beyond those that prevent COVID-19. New and reimagined interventions are required to develop or expand tools, education, and supports for healthcare providers as well as strategies and resources to support community-driven solutions. There is no “one size fits all” solution, and a multifaceted approach, grounded in Canada’s diversity, is crucial for reaching all Canadians.

Our overarching goal is to address vaccine hesitancy among pregnant and breastfeeding Canadians, especially those belonging to marginalized, racialized and Indigenous groups.

Our specific objectives include:

  1. Public engagement to modify and disseminate a decision-aid addressing vaccine hesitancy
  2. Evaluating the impact of the decision aid on vaccine hesitancy, stratified by regions and demographic characteristics, and determining how vaccine hesitancy changes over time.
  3. Identifying sources of trusted information regarding vaccine safety as well as barriers and facilitators to vaccine uptake among pregnant and breastfeeding Canadians.
  4. Providing a framework for addressing these challenges through educational material, videos, webinars and other methods that have been used in other populations.
  5. Establishing networks between national organizations, provincial leaders and community proxies for rapid dissemination of evidence to pregnant and breastfeeding Canadians.