Human Vaccines Project: Help us better understand how the immune system responds to Hepatitis B vaccine!

Why we are doing the study:
Our overall goal is to understand why some people respond better to vaccines than others, a step towards making better vaccines to prevent against infections. With this study, we are looking into how the immune system responds to Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine. This vaccine is widely used to prevent liver infection, a risk at all ages.

Researchers at the VEC and the University of British Columbia will study in fine detail how the different parts of the immune system interact to protect against infection after this vaccine. This study is part of a large international collaboration called the Human Vaccines Project: Transforming How We Treat and Prevent Disease:

Its goal is to speed up development of vaccines against major infectious diseases around the world by “decoding” the human immune system; learning the deeper secrets of how vaccines work.

We are looking for:
Males and females ages 40 to 80 years in general good health who have never had the hepatitis B vaccine or infection.

The study involves:
12 visits over 8 months (about 11-13 hours of your time). Participants will receive 3 standard doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Visits will include blood tests, swab collections and small samples from the lymph node in the armpit.  These tests are being done to examine everything that happens in the immune system between receiving a vaccine and developing protection.

You will receive:
Eligible participants will be reimbursed for travel/parking and an honorarium at each visit.

To learn more and to see if you are eligible to participate, please contact us.


BC Children’s Hospital to open Canada’s first onsite immunization clinic

“In 1995, Dr. David Scheifele wrote a paper proposing that facilities such as B.C. Children’s Hospital should have on-site clinics where sick kids could catch up on their vaccinations. It took 21 years, but that vision is finally becoming a reality.” – The Vancouver Sun, click for article

In the Fall of 2017, BC Children’s Hospital will open the doors to Canada’s first onsite immunization clinic. The clinic will provide immunizations at no cost to children, youth and their family members visiting BC Children’s.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to protect some of the most vulnerable children in our society who come through the doors of BC Children’s Hospital every day. Offering immunizations to all family members is a simple and highly effective way to extend the impact of the clinic.” – Dr. Manish Sadarangani

For four years, the VEC has been a part of the BC Children’s on-site family flu immunization clinic offering free flu immunizations to families visiting the hospital during the months of November and December. The flu clinic has set the foundation for an onsite immunization clinic, making immunizations as accessible as possible for families and in reaching across age barriers to maximize protection of vulnerable children.

The new immunization clinic has been made possible by a generous $15 million donation from Save-On Foods.

To read the full story, click here.

Safety surveillance of the influenza vaccines

An annual flu vaccine safety survey is completed by over 20,000 people across Canada who receive their flu vaccine. The purpose of the online survey is to monitor adverse events (side-effects) after the flu shot and allows us to monitor the safety of the flu vaccine used in Canada each year.

Dr. Julie Bettinger presents findings from the safety survey at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2016. Of 200 abstracts, this study was chosen as one of the Top 10 Scientific Abstracts of 2016.

In 2015, nearly 15,000 adults responded to the online survey, most did not report any health events after the flu shot. 95% of the unvaccinated control group did not report a health events compared to nearly 97% of the vaccinated group. Overall, no safety concerns were detected for the 2015 flu vaccines.

For more information and to read the abstract, click here

This project is being conducted by Canadian National Vaccine Safety (CANVAS) network. 2016 marks the 6th year of the Vaccine Safety Survey.

Co-authors: Louis Valiquette, Brenda Coleman, Karina Top, Otto Vanderkooi, Anne McCarthy, James Kellner, Jennifer Isenor, Gaston De Serres

 

What causes changes in mothers’ vaccine hesitancy over time?

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Photo credit: US National Cancer Institute, Photographer Rhoda Baer.

In a study at the VEC, it was found that mothers who were initially hesitant about vaccines described feeling fear, anxiety, and confusion when deciding about infant immunization. One described literally having nightmares about the decision whether to vaccinate her baby.

Dr. Devon Greyson presents these findings at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2016. Of 200 abstracts, this study was chosen as one of the Top 10 Scientific Abstracts of 2016.

The 23 participants of the study included parents with school aged-children whose thoughts and feelings about vaccinations had changed since first becoming a parent. Some may have become less worried about vaccines and some, more worried.

So, what reduces vaccine hesitancy over time?

    • Extra attention and information sharing with hesitant mothers (whether or not they vaccinate)
    • Positive immunization experiences
    • Adequate attention and time to address concerns after an AEFI or chronic health condition
    • Acknowledgement that while HCPs are trusted sources, some mothers will want to verify information (consistent, verifiable vaccine safety and effectiveness information)

For more information and to read the abstract, click here
Co-authors: Dr. Julie Bettinger, Dr. Gina Ogilvie, Dr. Simon Dobson