- COVID-19 Research
COVID-19 Immunity Study
As the public health emergency of COVID-19 continues to spread and evolve quickly within our province, rapid development of SARS-CoV-2 blood tests is of critical importance — particularly as it pertains to the ability of our laboratories to analyze SARS-CoV-2 blood test results and understand how the immune system responds to the pathogen.
The development of these tests will help to identify and track subsequent waves of the virus, and help doctors and researchers understand the disease further, which could help in the development of future treatments and/or vaccines.
COVID-19 Online Discourses
As public health authorities increase efforts to address the new coronavirus epidemic, rumours, misinformation, and xenophobic online posts are spreading faster than the virus. Fear and misinformation have direct impacts on the implementation of effective public health measures to control the epidemic. VEC researchers will examine the individual and sociocultural factors that impact individuals' and communities' adoption of public health recommendations; describe how public health measures are portrayed in the media and how individual/community understanding of disease, priorities, fears, and public health messaging impact the acceptance of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will also identify interventions that will help build public trust in authorities responsible for disease spread and management, while dispelling unfounded rumours and xenophobic discourse.
Understanding the Effects of Public Health Outbreak Control Policies and Implementation on Individuals and Communities: A Path to Improving COVID-19 Policy Effectiveness
While public health policies are required to control an infectious disease outbreak, these policies can adversely affect individuals and communities. Quarantine, limitations in movement and public gathering, and other restrictive measures can put a social and economic burden on individuals, which may be disproportionate, depending on their socioeconomic status and other factors. VEC researchers will look to examine the cultural dimensions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic such as examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease, studying the response of public health, and exploring how public health policy affects individuals and communities.
- Influenza Research
Influenza Vaccine Study
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by an influenza virus. Children are especially vulnerable and at greater risk of flu complications. Researchers would like to compare 2 licensed flu vaccines to find out which one provides better protection for young children. The study involves 7 visits over 18 months at the VEC located at the BC Children's Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver. Visits will include blood tests, 3 flu shots (over 2 seasons), and questions about your child's health.
Annual Influenza Vaccine Safety Survey of Adverse Events Following Immunization
This is the 8th year of the Vaccine Safety Survey. This study is a rapid online assessment of the annual Influenza (flu) vaccination programs at seven sites across Canada. It is being conducted by Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) network and includes more than than 20,000 people who receive their flu vaccine. The purpose of this study is to monitor adverse events (side effects) after the flu shot using an online survey. We are interested in learning about any new health problems that develop after receiving the flu shot which result in a visit to a health care provider.
- Meningococcal Research
Meningococcal Vaccine Study
Meningococcal disease is caused by Neisseria meningitidis and can result in severe disease such as septicemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis. There are currently 3 different vaccines being offered to teenagers across Canada and researchers at the Vaccine Evaluation Center would like to find out if there are any differences between these 3 vaccines, and if any of them are better than the others.
- HPV Research
Manish Sadarangani, Gina Ogilvie, Mel Krajden
QUEST (Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine Evaluation Study) is a Canada-wide study designed to evaluate whether 2 doses of the HPV vaccine are just as effective as 3 doses at preventing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer.
Determinants of HPV Vaccine Uptake in School-Based Programs in Canada
Despite the fact that school-based HPV vaccination programs are known to be an effective strategy to reach target populations, uptake is suboptimal. VEC researchers are looking to understand the factors that influence vaccination uptake such as attitudes, values and beliefs about HPV vaccination by decision-makers, health professionals, teachers and parents and organizational factors relating to the way the HPV programs are delivered.
- Pneumococcal Research
Pneumococcal Vaccine Study
Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although the vaccine is given as 3 shots at 2, 4, and 12 months of age, VEC researchers would like to find out if it is possible to achieve the same protection using just 2 shots at 2 and 12 months.
Pneumococcal Vaccination in High Risk Children
Some medical conditions may compromise a person's immune system and therefore can make that person more at risk than usual for developing Pneumococcal disease. These people might need additional doses of the vaccine to help protect them. Researchers at the VEC are doing this study to help doctors make sure that these additional vaccine doses are helping to protect the children or young adults who are at a greater risk for Pneumococcal disease.
- Vaccine Hesitancy Research
Unpacking Vaccine Hesitancy Among Perinatal Healthcare Providers
Healthcare providers (HCPs) are known to play a crucial role in fostering vaccine acceptance among parents. Previous research indicates that pregnant women want more and clearer vaccine advice from the doctors, nurses, and midwives providing care from pregnancy through the immediate postpartum period, when many mothers struggle with prenatal vaccination questions and begin making their infant vaccination decisions. When HCPs communicate effectively about the value and need for vaccinations parents are more confident in their decisions. However, research indicates that HCPs need more training and information support in order to feel confident recommending and administering vaccines. VEC researchers are working to gain an in-depth understanding of the vaccine hesitancy of perinatal HCPs, including how attitudes and beliefs are evident in both training and clinical practice.
Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in an Indigenous Community
In partnership with Cowichan community members and Elders, our project goals are to learn more about vaccine hesitancy in the community and to contribute to capacity building for future participatory action and community-based research in Cowichan Tribes.
- Vaccine Surveillance
Special Immunization Clinic
Participants needed: Must be referred by public health or your doctor.
Why are we doing this study: This study will collect information about adverse reactions following immunization from patients attending the Special Immunization Clinic. The information collected will help build standard care plans that guide doctors as they care for patients with adverse reactions.
A Prospective Analysis of Mandated Documentation
A structural intervention to increase vaccination among schoolchildren in British Columbia: Motivated by concerns of inadequate vaccination coverage and the potential for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, Canadian provinces have been discussing, implementing, and tightening policies requiring documentation of vaccination for school enrollment. In 2019, British Columbia introduced a regulatory mechanism under the provincial Public Health Act mandating documentation of immunization for school enrollment. Therefore, VEC researchers are evaluating the intervention as the province takes steps to implement policies of mandatory documentation of immunization for school enrollment, taking advantage of this policy change to observe outcomes, and explore factors related to implementation success.
Manish Sadarangani (Co-Principal Investigator)/ Julie Bettinger (IMPACT Epidemiologist/Director of Data)
IMPACT, short for Canadian Immunization Monitoring Program ACTive, is an active, hospital-based surveillance system at 12 children's hospitals across Canada (covers more than 90 per cent of tertiary-care pediatric beds normally found in children's hospitals). Each hospital employs a nurse monitor to actively seek target conditions. IMPACT has been sponsored by the Public Health Agency of Canada since 1992 and is operated by the Canadian Pediatric Society.
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