The COVID-19 Immunity Task Force Helping guide Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Helping to Guide Canada’s Epidemic Response2022-11-30T17:25:10-05:00

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.

CITF Monthly Review

November 2022 issue

In this month’s issue, we’d like to highlight:

  • An introduction to the CITF’s new Databank, on pages 2-7.
  • A research synthesis on COVID-19 in 2SLBGTQ+ communities, on pages 16-17.
  • A summary of our seminar on people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 due to other health conditions, on pages 14-15.
  • New seroprevalence data on the most recent Omicron-acquired infection rates across Canada, on pages 8-9.
  • Spotlights on the results of some of the latest CITF-funded research, on pages 10-13.

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CITF-funded Research Results

COVID-19 vaccine coverage continues to be lower among pregnant people than within the general Ontario population

Geographic & priority populations|

The 6th report from the CITF-funded Better Outcomes Registry & Network (BORN) Ontario study that has not been peer-reviewed, led by Dr. Deshayne Fell (University of Ottawa), shows that 78% of pregnant individuals in Ontario had received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy by the end of September 2022.

Seroprevalence and COVID-19 vaccination among correctional workers in Quebec

Occupational groups|

A CITF-funded study published in Frontiers in Public Health and led by Dr. Nadine Kronfli (McGill University Health Centre) showed that correctional officers were most likely to have acquired SARS-CoV-2 but least likely to be vaccinated when compared to all other correctional workers, underscoring the importance of addressing both occupational risks and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy to mitigate future outbreaks in the provincial prisons in Quebec.

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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