Children's Healthcare Canada has received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada's Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) to help people in Canada have access to vaccines, as well as accurate information on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines so that they can make informed vaccination choices.

Children’s Healthcare Canada is supporting our members and healthcare professionals in promoting equitable acceptance and uptake of approved, safe, and effective vaccines for children and youth. To that end, Children's Healthcare Canada convenes experts to identify and share knowledge, evidence (from research, practice, policy, and lived experience), and capacity-building resources align and share messages and support their tailoring for equity-deserving populations of children and youth amplify each other’s work; to build healthcare professional and system capacity to assist families, through meaningful conversations with them, in making vaccine-related decisions  and to confidently immunize children and youth. Routine and other childhood immunizations are effective in preventing infectious diseases and is a global health success story.  It is one of the best investments in individual and population health that money can buy, reducing illness and death during childhood and beyond, healthcare expenditures, and social costs. Vaccines prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases (including diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, and measles), thereby preventing 3.5-5 million deaths every year. 

Vaccine access and uptake are key components of population health, primary healthcare, and a human right. Therefore, it is troubling to witness drops in vaccination rates for routine childhood immunizations in Canada through the pandemic. This decrease in vaccination rates is compounded by the increase in vaccine hesitancy in this country and around the globe.

Some of the identified issues are:

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Vaccine Access

Many factors lead to hesitancy, including the spread of dis- and misinformation, needle fear, lack of culturally and linguistically relevant communications and resources, and mistrust of governments.

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Vaccine Hesitancy

Many busy families intend to get their children immunized but lack a primary healthcare provider (family physician, nurse practitioner, community-based pediatrician) and are not able to take time off work, find vaccine appointments at convenient times. School based immunization programs were disrupted through the pandemic due to school closures and staff redeployment, further limiting access to all children and youth.

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Tracking and Reporting

Canada lacks a standardized childhood immunization schedule. Instead, the recommended schedule varies by province/territory. Further, the data infrastructure (national or provincial/territorial vaccine registries) required to track and report on routine immunization rates is lacking. This means that health authorities are unable to identify children and youth who are behind on their vaccine.

To illustrate our commitment to promoting equitable vaccine acceptance and uptake, Children’s Healthcare Canada has led the following projects:

  • The ICC Project - Immunizing Children with Confidence: Capacity, Communication, and Community (This Project concluded in March 2023)
  • The VIP Project - Vaccine Equity in Pediatrics: Taking our best shot together (Funded by the PHAC Immunization Partnership Fund)

Children's Healthcare Canada has also curated and developed resources from our own subject matter experts, national child health organizations, provincial, territorial and federal governments, other national not-for-profits to share with vaccine communicators, vaccine providers, and families.

Learn more about these projects and resources by clicking their buttons below.

The ICC Project
   The VIP Project   Immunization Tools and Resources

Recent Events and Polling:

Kids & Vaccines Day (February 23, 2023)

Abacus Polling Data - Vaccination Commissioned by Children's Healthcare Canada  (January 2023) 

ICC: From Practice to Policy - Keeping What Worked: Lessons learned from COVID-19 pediatric immunizations (September 2022)

Abacus Polling Data - Vaccination Commissioned by Children's Healthcare Canada (April 2022)

Immunizing Children with Confidence: Vaccination Conversations Pop Up Event (January 2022)