The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect the health of Canadians and people around the world. In the fight against COVID-19, it is critical that as many people as possible get vaccinated to help keep themselves and their communities healthy and protect our health care system.
However, we know that certain Canadians have doubts and hesitations about getting vaccinated. Fighting the spread of harmful, false health information is critical to our pandemic response as the spread of misinformation continues to undermine vaccine confidence and can hinder our COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
As such, today, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announced an additional $14 million investment in the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF), for projects that address misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines used to protect against it. This brings the Government of Canada’s total investment in the IPF to $78 million since 2020, of which $45.5 million is dedicated to supporting national, regional and local initiatives.
The reasons for vaccine hesitancy are complex, and investments through the IPF aim to address these factors and close the gap in vaccine hesitancy and uptake through evidence-based, culturally relevant and community-based interventions.
To date, close to 100 community-based projects have been launched with this funding, with a goal to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake in communities across Canada.
These innovative and evidence-based projects serve to support health care providers and other community leaders in increasing vaccine uptake among underserved and marginalized populations, including Indigenous, racialized, religious minority, and newcomer communities.
The IPF is one tool of many that the federal government is using to help people across the country get vaccinated to protect themselves, those around them, and our health care system. The Government of Canada continues to work closely with experts, the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, and community partners to increase vaccine confidence and better address the barriers people may face to getting vaccinated.