What are effective vaccine distribution approaches for equity-deserving and high-risk populations during COVID-19? Exploring best practices and recommendations in Canada: protocol for a mixed-methods multiple case codesign study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • IntroductionThe WHO has stated that vaccine hesitancy is a serious threat to overcoming COVID-19. Vaccine hesitancy among underserved and at-risk communities is an ongoing challenge in Canada. Public confidence in vaccine safety and effectiveness and the principles of equity need to be considered in vaccine distribution. In Canada, governments of each province or territory manage their own healthcare system, providing an opportunity to compare and contrast distribution strategies. The overarching objective of this study is to identify effective vaccine distribution approaches and advance knowledge on how to design and implement various strategies to meet the different needs of underserved communities.Methods and analysisMultiple case studies in seven Canadian provinces will be conducted using a mixed-methods design. The study will be informed by Experience-Based CoDesign techniques and theoretically guided by the Socio-Ecological Model and the Vaccine Hesitancy Matrix frameworks. Phase 1 will involve a policy document review to systematically explore the vaccine distribution strategy over time in each jurisdiction. This will inform the second phase, which will involve (2a) semistructured, in-depth interviews with policymakers, public health officials, researchers, providers, groups representing patients, researchers and stakeholders and (2b) an analysis of population-based administrative health data of vaccine administration. Integration of qualitative and quantitative data will inform the identification of effective vaccine distribution approaches for various populations. Informed by this evidence, phase 3 of the study will involve conducting focus groups with multiple stakeholders to codesign recommendations for the design and implementation of effective vaccine delivery strategies for equity-deserving and at-risk populations.Ethics and disseminationThis study is approved by the University of Toronto‚Äôs Health Sciences Research Ethics Board (#42643), University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board (#H22-01750-A002), Research Ethics Board of the Nova Scotia Health Authority (#48272), Newfoundland and Labrador Health Research Ethics Board (#2022.126), Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, University of Calgary (REB22-0207), and University of Manitoba Health Research Board (H2022-239). The outcome of this study will be to produce a series of recommendations for implementing future vaccine distribution approaches from the perspective of various stakeholders, including equity-deserving and at-risk populations.


  • Aggarwal, Monica
  • Katz, Alan
  • Kokorelias, Kristina Marie
  • Wong, Sabrina T
  • Aghajafari, Fariba
  • Ivers, Noah M
  • Martin-Misener, Ruth
  • Aubrey-Bassler, Kris
  • Breton, Mylaine
  • Upshur, Ross
  • Kwong, Jeffrey C

publication date

  • November 2023