The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force Helping guide Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Helping to Guide Canada’s Epidemic Response2022-01-14T11:13:24-05:00

The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force’s mandate

On April 23, 2020, the Government of Canada launched the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF). The Task Force’s mandate is to catalyze, support, fund and harmonize knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 immunity for federal, provincial, and territorial decision-makers in their efforts to protect Canadians and minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Priority Areas of Research

Immune Science

Advancing our understanding of immunity: Is immunity a given once someone has had COVID-19? How long does it last? Are there factors that make immunity wane faster?

Seroprevalence Studies

Collecting serologic data: How many Canadians have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, suggesting they’ve had COVID-19? Are some populations more likely to get SARS-CoV-2 and how could we better protect them?

Immune Testing

Fine-tuning methods for accurate serologic testing: Which tests can detect the new variants? Are there antibody tests that can be developed giving us results in minutes?

Vaccine Surveillance

Supporting research partners from across Canada in a new collaboration that will study vaccine effectiveness and safety in the population at large and in high-priority groups.

Boosters

Understanding when and if the general population and sub-groups such as long-term care residents, racialized communities or Indigenous Peoples need booster shots.

Pediatric Vaccination

Researching the safety, effectiveness and immunogenicity of vaccines in children under 12 to help inform the roll out of vaccines.

Immunity Modelling

Modelling trends in the overall immunity across Canada arising from infection and vaccination.

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Cross-cutting themes

Generating comparable measures of immunity, better understanding of correlates of protection, and improving data sharing across Canada.

CITF Monthly Review

January 2022 issue

This month’s issue features:

  • Expert commentary on how immunity to COVID-19 wanes over time, making booster vaccines essential;
  • The latest CITF modeling & Canadian Blood Services data on immunity across Canada;
  • SARS-CoV-2 in schools
  • Vaccine safety
  • More!

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Protecting Canadians from COVID-19: How are we doing?

CITF Seroprevalence Modelling

Crucial to its mandate for monitoring Canada-wide immunity, the CITF has developed a statistical model to combine antibody results with other epidemiological data, such as confirmed cases and vaccine coverage, so that we can know how many Canadians have protection from COVID-19.

See the results on our modelling page.

CITF-funded Research Results

Booster doses stimulate strong antibody responses, including in older adults

Long-term care & seniors|

While two doses of COVID-19 vaccine can prevent serious illness in most cases, vaccine-induced immune responses decline naturally over time, which leads to an increased risk of breakthrough infections. A pre-print, not-yet peer-reviewed, from CITF-funded researchers Dr. Mark Brockman of Simon Fraser University, Dr. Zabrina Brumme of Simon Fraser University [...]

Background rates for blood clotting events in Ontario provide context for COVID-19 vaccine safety assessment

General vaccine surveillance|

In order to help public health authorities and clinicians to contextualize observed events of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) - an extremely rare but serious blood clot following immunization with the AstraZeneca/Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine - the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), including CITF-funded researcher Dr. Jeff Kwong, sought to estimate [...]

Latest News

SeroTracker expands its SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance hub

CITF-funded SeroTracker has added to its knowledge hub that tracks findings from SARS-CoV-2 serosurveillance efforts worldwide and in Canada. Peruse the maps and graphs and see how many people in this country (by province & territory as well) and around the world are estimated to have been infected with or vaccinated against this coronavirus to date (based on published research).
Explore SeroTracker

SeroTracker dashboard

What is serosurveillance and why is it important?

Serosurveillance is a common way of seeing how many people have been previously infected with a certain infectious agent, in this case SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Canadians are currently being tested to check levels of antibodies, which suggest a past infection. Serosurveillance can also help determine priority groups for vaccination and will be used to monitor the effectiveness of vaccines.

What does “vaccine surveillance” mean?

Vaccine surveillance includes studies of vaccine effectiveness (how good vaccines are at preventing severe disease, new infections, and transmission) and safety (identifying and quantifying the vaccine adverse effects). Although vaccines go through numerous trials before being approved for use, it is crucial to monitor their effectiveness and safety within a broader population and with various population groups (children, pregnant women, elderly, etc.).
See all FAQs

What is serosurveillance and why is it important?

Serosurveillance is a common way of seeing how many people have been previously infected with a certain infectious agent, in this case SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. Blood samples from hundreds of thousands of Canadians are currently being tested to check levels of antibodies, which suggest a past infection. Serosurveillance can also help determine priority groups for vaccination and will be used to monitor the effectiveness of vaccines.

What does “vaccine surveillance” mean?

Vaccine surveillance includes studies of vaccine effectiveness (how good vaccines are at preventing severe disease, new infections, and transmission) and safety (identifying and quantifying the vaccine adverse effects). Although vaccines go through numerous trials before being approved for use, it is crucial to monitor their effectiveness and safety within a broader population and with various population groups (children, pregnant women, elderly, etc.).
See all FAQs

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Spotlight on CITF-funded Research

Seeking information on vaccine procurement and advice?

For those seeking information on vaccine procurement and advice, please note that it is the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force that advises the federal government on COVID-19 vaccine procurement and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization that advises the federal, provincial and territorial governments on vaccine delivery policy and priorities.

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