The UBC Innovation Support Unit (UBC ISU) at the faculty of medicine’s department of family practice has received funding from the Government of Canada to develop an interprovincial network of Immunization Primary and Community Care (immPACC) workshops across the four Western provinces to enhance vaccine uptake.
Based on a patient-centred approach, these workshops will engage communities to adapt their local vaccination programs to better address structural barriers faced by the local populations and improve vaccine confidence.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced funding for this, and three other projects receiving funding through the Immunization Partnership Fund to support vaccination efforts across Canada. These community-based projects will support COVID-19 vaccine uptake among communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic through targeted outreach and culturally relevant interventions.
Dr. Morgan Price is the associate head for research and innovation in the department of family practice, which launched the UBC ISU in 2018 thanks to the faculty of medicine’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF).
The UBC ISU team developed this method, which brings together local evidence, simulated patient cases, and design thinking to help a community collaboratively plan with its key stakeholders for more equitable vaccination. The method is designed for rapid community engagement and consensus building, and to scale across multiple communities quickly.
“What is exciting for me is working with our team and seeing public health, local government, primary care, First Nations, and community organizations rally together around the needs of local patients and discover better ways they can reduce structural barriers to immunization for people in their community,” Dr. Price said.
Through the immPACC process, community stakeholders work together to prototype ideas and grassroots solutions to reduce immunization barriers. The facilitated two-hour virtual workshop will enable participatory co-development of local solutions in real-time and better protect Canada’s population from COVID-19.
The UBC ISU is building on multiple collaborations in B.C. and across Western Canada to spread this work with the support of Public Health Agency of Canada.