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Government of Canada invests to encourage confidence in vaccines

Recipient organizations will raise awareness in diverse communities across the country

News release Professors

July 26, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario - Vaccines are fundamental tools for preventing infectious diseases, and low vaccination rates can threaten the health of Canadian and international communities. As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shown, complex factors influence the decision to accept vaccines. Canadians needs reliable and trusted sources of evidence to inform their decisions about vaccines.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is announcing $2.25 million in support for 48 organizations to promote vaccine confidence through information sharing. The funds are jointly administered by the three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

The funding will allow the organizations to mobilize knowledge to improve public understanding of vaccines and help people make evidence-based decisions, especially among populations that are hesitant about vaccines. Activities supported by these grants will build greater citizen engagement and use of scientific knowledge across all research disciplines.

The 48 recipient organizations will address a wide variety of populations: for example, some will focus on health care workers and parents, while others will target Indigenous Peoples and racial, cultural and linguistic minorities. They will be using such techniques as hosting vaccination workshops for youth; sharing information for pregnant and new moms; creating animated education materials; and using a mobile research lab to help raise awareness in northern and remote communities.


"Vaccines save lives. We are working to protect the health and safety of Canadians with the collaboration of these organizations who are experts in explaining science. Together, we’re helping to deliver the vital information people need in order to make evidence-based decisions to protect themselves and their families and friends, and their communities."
-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"Vaccine uptake is critical to ending this pandemic and we are looking at new ways to reach people in Canada. Projects funded today will support community-driven initiatives to increase vaccine confidence and help close the gap on vaccine uptake. I look forward to seeing the results of these diverse and targeted interventions."
-The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health

"These outreach activities will engage Canadians and assist them in making well-informed decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. By making scientific knowledge more easily accessible and increasing the understanding of the research process, these activities will help to reduce vaccine hesitancy and help to build public trust and confidence in science among Canadians."
-Dr. Michael Strong, President of CIHR

"For many years, NSERC has supported science outreach to foster enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, and math among Canada’s young people. Now, with this funding, we are joining with our partner granting agencies to help science promoters and educators provide the facts and evidence supporting vaccine safety. This will help people make better decisions as we curb the COVID virus through vaccination this year, and in the years to come as other viral threats emerge."
-Professor Alejandro Adem, President of NSERC

"Social sciences and humanities research shows us that tackling complex societal issues, such as vaccine hesitancy, fundamentally requires an understanding of people and the factors that weigh into behaviours and decision making. SSHRC is pleased to contribute to these important knowledge mobilization projects to bring that social sciences and humanities lens to outreach efforts and further help in Canada’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic."
-Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of SSHRC

Associated links

Encouraging vaccine confidence in Canada
List of recipients
Immunization partnership fund
Vaccine community innovation challenge

Follow CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC on Twitter.

For Canadian science news, follow @CDNScience on social media: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA


Valérie Levert-Gagnon
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Mohammad Hussain
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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