Opportunities - Implementing evidence-based vaccination in pregnancy in Alberta: Protecting every mom and every baby

Implementing evidence-based vaccination in pregnancy in Alberta: Protecting every mom and every baby

University of Calgary




Pregnant patients and their babies can get very sick from infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics including tetanus, whooping-cough, influenza, and now COVID-19. The first 28 days of life are the most vulnerable for a child’s survival; half of all children’s deaths occur within this period. Vaccination during pregnancy is a powerful tool that protects both the mother and the new baby by helping the mother make natural defences.

Only 1 in 5 pregnant patients in Alberta receive the flu shot, and only 1 in 4 receive the whooping -cough vaccine. Many pregnant patients and their nurses, midwives or doctors do not have an engaging vaccine conversation. Also, vacccines are not easy to access at prenatal care locations.

Covid-19 has reminded us again that vaccinations – not vaccines- save lives. This project aims to make it easier for pregnant patients in Alberta to receive vaccinations while protecting their infants from preventable illnesses and to support pregnant patients and their providers in making vaccination decisions. The proposed “Point of Care Vaccination in Pregnancy” (POC-VIP) opens up the vaccine conversation between pregnant parents and their nurses, midwives or doctors.

POC-VIP makes vaccines available at the same location where patients receive prenatal care. Based on previous research, POC-VIP helps vaccine conversations through effective vaccine communication and vaccine delivery methods. POC-VIP will improve access and increase the number of pregnant parents that choose to get vaccinated in pregnancy. POC-VIP will decrease the number of mothers and babies affected by vaccine-preventable illness.


Roles and Responsibilities

This opportunity is looking for all Albertans (mothers and fathers) who in are in the continuum of starting a family, or who have a young family, to help form a Parent Advisory council. This council will advise on the research study processes and engagement strategies aimed at capturing the voices of pregnant patients, new parents and their families to help understand how they would like to learn about infection-prevention tools like vaccines or screening programs.

We are seeking their advice on identifying priorities, shaping the research strategy, identifying influencers in their communities, understanding how, when and whom do they trust to engage in a dialogue about best ways to protect themselves and their babies from infections, and disseminating (sharing) the results with their networks


Time Commitment

If funded this project is anticipated to begin in June 2021 however it is hoped to have the advisory council possibly meet sooner and help guide and inform other similar projects if members are interested.

Meetings would online with an average of 10 meetings per year for up to 2 years.  Meetings would last 1.5 hours each.

There is also the opportunity for additional engagement including to review materials, recruit focus group participants and support data analysis.



Meetings will be online. There are no travel or other expenses anticipated at this time.

Compensation will be offered, as per AbSPORU guidelines, at a rate of $25/hour.


For further information or to express interest please contact:

Ingrid Nielssen