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Community Vaccination Promotion - Ontario (CVP-ON)

Across Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light many deeply embedded social and health inequities that block a sustainable and just recovery for all. These barriers underscore the challenges vulnerable populations face when accessing necessary health information and services, including COVID-19 vaccinations. These include people living on low incomes, people experiencing homeless, newcomers, racialized populations, and more.  

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CVP-ON YEAR TWO: Extended funding is helping Community Vaccination Promotion (CVP-ON) members support over 19,000 people – and counting! – in booking vaccine appointments or getting vaccinated directly.

Building from the success of our first year results, the CVP-ON project has received extended funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to continue project activities until March 2023.

As of October 2022, participating Alliance members have:

  • Held 222 online or in-person public events.
  • Connected with 32,007 individuals and families through phone, text and door-to-door visits.
  • Reached a broad audience of 253,293+ people through social media and local advertising.

Read on to learn more about CVP-ON and its impact, or see more detailed info about equitable approaches to vaccine promotion in our new infographic (FR).

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A Community-led and locally-tailored approach

With the goal of working towards more equitable post-pandemic health outcomes, the Alliance for Healthier Communities received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)’s Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF) to implement the Community Vaccination Promotion – Ontario (CVP-ON) project. This 18-month funding, from April 2021 to September 2022, recognizes the deep experience of Alliance members in supporting and working alongside marginalized individuals and groups, as well as their strong relationships of trust in local communities and their extensive work to date in responding to the pandemic. A new funding extension has been granted by PHAC, allowing participating Alliance members to continue their ongoing initiatives from September 2022 to March 2023.

CVP-ON is part of a cross-Canada partnership with other national and provincial associations to promote vaccine trust, confidence, and uptake: 

For more details about our partnerships and their activities, read our national Community Vaccination Promotion Project Statement.

How is CVP-ON being implemented in Ontario?

In the first year of CVP-ON, the IPF grant resourced tailored vaccine promotion communication, tools, and outreach activities at 12 Alliance member centres. From this group, 9 Alliance members have signed on to receive extended funding and continue these initiatives. These organizations built upon the trusted relationships they had with their communities, and they developed innovative needs-based methods of promoting vaccine confidence in marginalized communities with long histories of medical distrust.

Initiatives developed by participating centres included:

  • Door-to-door outreach.
  • Friendly one-on-one conversations with community ambassadors.
  • Transportation to vaccination clinics.
  • Help with booking appointments.
  • Information-sharing events in faith-based or private community spaces where people feel comfortable and know their privacy will be respected.
  • Opportunistic vaccination events during soccer games or other community programming.

Priority marginalized populations for the project include:

To coordinate these efforts and facilitate knowledge exchange, the Alliance has developed an emerging community of practice and email listserv for participating members, and is continuing to share knowledge, evaluation results, evidence-based resources, lessons learned and best practices with national and interprovincial partners.

Here are the participating Alliance members in this project:

Note: Asterisks indicate Alliance members who have received extended funding and will be continuing initiatives until March 2023.

Check out our Community Vaccination Promotion blog post to learn more about the culturally-informed and capacity-building initiatives these Alliance members are working on.

Building on Year One Results

Increasing the number of vaccinations and reducing vaccine hesitancy in “last mile” or hard-to-reach communities has been key for reducing the spread of COVID-19. To measure the impact of these initiatives, the Alliance is tracking how well they are reaching priority populations.

Updated interim results have shown that participating Alliance members have:

  • Held 222 online or in-person public events.
  • Connected with 32,007 individuals and families through phone, text and door-to-door visits.
  • Reached a broad audience of 253,293+ people through social media and local advertising.

As a result of these efforts, over 19,000 individuals booked vaccine appointments or were vaccinated directly.

 

 

Results from the first year of CVP-ON have been very encouraging, and there are direct links between the effects of CVP-ON initiatives and vaccines being administered in communities. As childhood vaccinations and booster shots continue to evolve, Alliance members are tirelessly continuing and expanding their immunization promotion and outreach.

“One of the clients… tested positive for COVID-19 twice. The first time she and her son contracted the virus in the community, the second time her child contracted it at school…The mother was hesitant to receive the vaccination, after connecting with [a community ambassador], getting information in a language accessible to her, and being connected with the health providers to answer her medical questions she decided to get vaccinated. When people are provided essential health information in an accessible way, we have seen the positive result of people making informed decisions for their health and wellbeing and that of their families.”

– Nimo Farah, Manager, Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre
Somerset West Community Health Centre

Past Events and Presentations

In January 2022, the Alliance hosted a Vax for the Future: Equity, Community and Trust virtual event to share community-led learnings for priority populations from participating Community Health Centres across Ontario that addressed vaccine hesitancy and uptake. Attendees included primary care providers, health system leaders, policy influencers, and all those interested in equitable approaches to overcoming vaccine hesitancy and distrust in marginalized populations. Through an equitable approach to promoting vaccine confidence, panellists representing some of our participating Alliance members (TAIBU CHC, Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto, Woolwich CHC, and Somerset West CHC) presented findings and key lessons from innovative needs-based initiatives tailored to their communities.

During this event, we identified key enablers of successful vaccine promotion strategies:

  1. Establish and build on trusted relationships within the community, and leverage existing community relationship strengths (e.g. hiring from the community, volunteer networks, etc.).
  2. Be creative, collaborative and nimble when addressing vaccination barriers as the pandemic has evolved. Having linguistic and culturally appropriate staff dedicated to community outreach, collaboration across health/social systems partners, and targeting supports to specific populations were all recommended interventions.
  3. Sustain investments, resources and support for grassroots needs-based approaches. Ensure responses are consistent and make testing, or additional information, widely available.

 

For more details and tailored resources, see the slide deck and recording (FR) here.

These findings were highlighted in a featured poster presentation at the Immunizing Children with Confidence, Vaccination Conversations event collaboratively hosted by Children's Healthcare and Solutions for Kids in Pain, and co-hosted by Stollery Children’s Hospital & Alberta Health Services. You can access the poster and audio recording here.

NEW PUBLICATION: In November 2022, we published an article in Longwoods Healthcare Quarterly summarizing the impacts of removing structural barriers for equitable vaccine access and the value of cultural ambassadors to improve vaccine uptake and confidence in marginalized communities. Main findings and successful approaches to outreach from this article were summarized in our new infographic (FR).

For more community-led research, check out our Alliance research library.

Featured Resource!

Looking for multilingual tools and community-based resources on vaccine promotion and other health-related info? Make sure to visit the new National Knowledge Hub developed by the Canadian Association of Community Health Centres (CACHC)!

As part of CACHC’s Community Vaccination Promotion – National Project (CVP-National), this hub is intended to help Community Health Centres distribute accredited knowledge around COVID-19 vaccines and other areas of health care to their clients and communities. Click on the 'For Individuals' portals to access the hub in your preferred language.

If you are an Alliance member or service provider with primary care resources you would like to promote across Canada, please email communications@cachc.ca for additional support and guidance.

COVID-19 Vaccination Resources
Targeted Resources for Diverse Communities

Parents and Children

Indigenous Communities

Racialized and Newcomer Communities

People with Developmental Disabilities, their Families, and Caregivers

 

To find more resources, look through our Alliance Resource Library for additional links and information.

For more information, contact communications@allianceon.org

 

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.