Island Vaccine Support Program

The Island Vaccine Support Program is a collaboration between UPEI’s Health Centred Research Clinic and CHANCES (Caring, Helping, And Nurturing, Children Every Step), a charitable organization that provides programming and support to Island families.

The program, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, aims to support Islanders with evidence-based information and support to aid in their decision to become vaccinated against COVID-19 and/or vaccinate their children.

The project will unfold over four key phases: (1) completion of a scoping review on characteristics of existing immunization support programs; (2) distribution and analysis of a province-wide survey of Islanders’ views of the COVID-19 vaccine; and a focus group exploring the experiences of CHANCES Best Start Workers in discourse related to the COVID-19 vaccine; (3) development and delivery of the Island Vaccine Support Program; and (4) evaluation of the program. A community outreach model will be used to provide accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccine, through existing CHANCES programming to Island families. See below for more information about each of the project’s four phases.

Phase 1: Build a knowledge foundation

Team and Committee Members: Dr. Katherine Kelly, Anja Salijevic, Dr. William Montelpare, Kim Mears, Dr. Margie Burns, Dr. Janet Loo, Dr. Beibei Jia, Tessa Casey, Laurie Michael, Dr. Ahmad Abd-El-Aziz, and Dr. Gail Macartney

In this phase of the project, we conducted a scoping review of the characteristics of immunization support programs in Canada, including reported barriers and facilitators to their implementation and delivery. This phase also involved the completion of a literature review on the factors of vaccine hesitancy, as identified in the literature. This empirical foundation will be used to inform subsequent phases in this project.

Phase 2: Province-wide survey and focus group

Team Members: Dr. Katherine Kelly, Anja Salijevic, Dr. William Montelpare, Jessica Ling, Kaileigh Smith, and VaneDr. William Montelpare (Principle Investigator), Dr. Katherine Kelly (Research Co-Lead), Anja Salijevic (Research Co-Lead), Jessica Ling (CHANCES Facilitator), Kaileigh Smith (CHANCES Facilitator), and Vanessa Poirier (CHANCES Best Start Director).

Survey Development Committee Members: Dr. Katherine Kelly, Dr. William Montelpare, Dr. Shamara Baidoobonso, Dr. Alyson Campbell, Dr. Margie Burns, Dr. Janet Loo, Dr. Amanda Hudson, Anja Salijevic, and Jessica Ling.

We completed a province-wide survey to determine what Islanders think about the COVID-19 vaccine. This survey is being completed to determine the factors associated with vaccine hesitancy and confidence among Islanders, and how Islanders decide whether or not to become vaccinated and/or vaccinate their children. We are also completing a focus group with CHANCES Best Start Workers to explore the experience of frontline workers that have engaged in COVID-19 based discussions with families in CHANCES programming.

Phase 3: Development and implementation of the Island Vaccine Support Program

Team and Committee Members: Dr. William Montelpare (Principle Investigator), Dr. Katherine Kelly (Research Co-Lead), Anja Salijevic (Research Co-Lead), Jessica Ling (CHANCES Facilitator), Kaileigh Smith (CHANCES Facilitator), and Vanessa Poirier (CHANCES Best Start Director).

The program will be delivered through existing CHANCES programming to families across PEI. We are currently in the process of curating evidence-based resources about the COVID-19 vaccine that will be used to support Island families in their decision to vaccinate themselves and/or their children. The program will rollout in September 2022 and conclude in March 2023.

Phase 4: Evaluation of the program

The program will be evaluated using measures of vaccine and health literacy.

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For more information about this study, please see News/Events or visit our Facebook page.

Associated Publications:

Kelly, K., Mears, K., Burns, M. & Montelpare, W. (2022, April). Engaging Canadians in evidence-based communication about vaccines: a scoping review protocol of immunisation support programs in Canada. BMJ Open:e060103. doi:10.1136/ bmjopen-2021-060103

Kelly, K., Montelpare, W., Selijevic, A., Robertson, A., Burns, M., Ling, J., Loo, J. & Smith, K. (2022, January). Development and implementation of the Prince Edward Island Vaccine Support Program: Description of a community-based intervention to reduce vaccine hesitancy. Immunizing Children with Confidence: Vaccination Conversations Pop Up Event.