SickKids project to work with local communities to build trust, empower families and increase uptake of COVID-19 vaccinations in children
A new school and community-based research and outreach project led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), “Stop COVID-19 in Kids – School-Based Vaccine Education Outreach to Build Trust and Empower Families,” aims to improve uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine in the five to 11 age group. The project team will work with local community groups to generate knowledge through surveys and focus groups, which will then be used to develop tools and interventions to address barriers to vaccination for children aged five to 11 and their families.
"Stop COVID-19 in Kids” aims to understand facilitators and barriers to vaccination
Led by Dr. Shaun Morris, Staff Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Principal Investigator in the Child Health Evaluative Sciences program at SickKids, the project team will collaborate with local health centres, schools and other key groups in Toronto. The project will also focus on communities in Toronto that have low vaccination rates.
“Both the risk of COVID-19, and the likelihood of low vaccination rates, are not distributed evenly throughout our communities. Understanding the facilitators and barriers to vaccination in different populations and groups is critical to developing interventions to educate and inform caregivers, and enable families to make informed decisions,” said Morris, who is also a Principal Investigator at the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health.
Consultations with paediatricians and community ambassadors to inform educational resources
Through multiple phases and information-gathering processes, including surveys and focus groups, the team will work with communities to identify and understand various barriers to vaccine uptake and obtain feedback on existing educational tools and potential new outreach efforts.
The team will also work with the Pediatricians Alliance of Ontario to survey paediatricians from across the province about COVID-19 immunization in their practices, as well as patient and caregiver hesitancy regarding the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11. Along with reviews of existing literature and tools, and collaborations with community ambassadors and school communities, this information will help the team develop community-informed resources and educational programs about the COVID-19 vaccine for children and their families.
“Through this project, we are aiming to provide families and communities with evidence-based information on COVID-19 vaccines that is also tailored to their needs. We will then assess if, and how, these interventions have impacted caregivers' acceptance and uptake of vaccines for their children,” said Dr. Pierre-Philippe Piché-Renaud, co-investigator on the project and Fellow in the Division of Infectious Diseases at SickKids.
This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Immunization Partnership Fund. To learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged five to 11, visit AboutKidsHealth and Parent Homework.