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The Role of Primary Care in the Rollout of COVID 19 Vaccines: A Review of the Canadian Experience

Posted • Last updated


Commitment: Short-term

Open to Outside BC, Provincial Region, Patient partners working in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec or British Columbia

Last updated

Study topic and purpose:
Ontario’s approach to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination strategy started with an initial focus on vaccines being provided through hospitals and then secondarily through mass public health clinics and pharmacies.

Primary care is the first point of contact to the health system, especially for vulnerable and medically underserved communities. When asked where people want to get their COVID vaccines, almost half said their family physician’s office and 87% said they would go to their family physician first for advice on the vaccine itself.  Building vaccine confidence by addressing vaccine hesitancy is a foundational role of primary care as patients trust their primary care providers. Public confidence in vaccine safety and effectiveness and the principles of equity need to be considered in approaches since it can result in unintended consequences of poorer health outcomes, increased COVID burden and less vaccination in underserved and marginalized communities.

Since the delivery of immunizations is part of comprehensive primary care, knowledge users are interested in learning what approaches to the rollout of the vaccines were used in Canada and what lessons can be learned from their experience. Thus, this study will examine the experience of four Canadian jurisdictions (Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and British Columbia) with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy from the perspective of key informants (i.e., policymakers, public health officials, stakeholders (medical associations, pharmacist associations), healthcare professionals, and patients). This knowledge will help inform a sustainable vaccination strategy for all Ontarians in future COVID-19 vaccination efforts and beyond.

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Who can participate:
• Individuals aged 18 or older and able to provide informed consent
• Working in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, or British Columbia
• Policymakers, public health officials and stakeholders involved in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy
• A health care professional involved in the administration of COVID-19 vaccines
• A patient who has received or is contemplating receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

The purpose of this study is to understand the experience of Canadian jurisdictions with the COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy

• Participate in a 60-minute interview by phone or virtual technology (Microsoft Teams)
• $25.00 gift card will be provided to patients participating in this study

• This study will inform knowledge users in Ontario on the future vaccine strategy for COVID-19 and beyond

Contact information:
To express interest in participating, please contact Dr. Monica Aggarwal at or the Research Coordinator, Carolynn Warnet at

From Our Community

Layton Engwer

Patient Partner, Sooke

Layton Engwer

PVN helped empower me to make meaningful contributions to Primary Care (PC) locally and provincially.  It also facilitated creation of PC Patient Voices which is focused on PC and provides education support and building on shared experiences.