DFCM and OCFP launch COVID-19 vaccination learning modules

Feb 22, 2021

Primary care teams have a critical role to play in vaccinating Canadians against COVID-19. 

Dubbed #TeamVaccine, family doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other primary care providers pulled together to vaccinate all Toronto long-term care homes ahead of schedule. But that was just the first step in what will be the largest scale vaccination Canadians have ever seen.

As Canada awaits an influx of vaccines, the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Ontario College of Family Physicians have developed a series of free COVID-19 vaccination modules to provide primary care professionals with the knowledge and skills to support Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination effort.

“As primary care providers and family doctors we are here and we are ready. These modules bring together best available evidence in a rapidly evolving landscape to ensure primary care providers have the information they need to support widespread vaccination, quickly and safely,” explains Dr. Tara Kiran, the Fidani Chair in Improvement and Innovation and Vice-Chair Quality and Innovation at DFCM. “We particularly wanted to help clinicians build vaccine confidence among all their patients, including those from marginalized communities."

Developed by Drs. Kiran and Noah Ivers, an Associate Professor in DFCM, the series is designed both as a continuous learning experience and as a resource that users can refer back to as needed. Although much of the material is broadly relevant to practitioners in any setting, some of the resources and guidance are specific to Ontario.

Current modules include why we need the vaccine, the safety and efficacy of mRNA vaccines, plans for vaccine rollout and how to build vaccine confidence among patients.

“Primary care is the key to an effective efficient and equitable vaccine rollout. Our patients trust us to answer their questions about the vaccine” says Dr. Ivers, who is also a Family Physician at Women's College Hospital and Canada Research Chair in Implementation of Evidence-based Practice. “The vaccine is new so it is natural to have questions and seek answers from people you trust - like your primary care team. These modules help make sure we are prepared to answer common questions with evidence, and in a patient-centred manner. These vaccines are the way out of this pandemic, and primary care is stepping up to help us all.”

The team will be making every effort to refresh the modules and add additional content to keep pace with rapidly evolving COVID-19 evidence and policy. 

For more information and to access the free learning modules, please visit the COVID-19 vaccination modules webpage. Last updated March 11 to include a new module on viral vector vaccines.

Disclaimer: The ‘COVID-19 Vaccination in Canada: an educational series for primary care professionals’ is designed for educational purposes and reflects evidence available in the context of a rapidly evolving landscape of research and policy guidance. The information shared in the educational series is not intended to serve as medical advice.