Airlie Palichuk

Supervisor: Shannon MacDonald

Project: Scoping review of the literature to identify what is known about the immunization coverage of immunocompromised children


Langley, BC

Degree program:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing with Honors

What's been the best part of your experience so far?

It is difficult to pinpoint the best part of my experience thus far, as I have learned so much throughout this experience. In just a few months, I have acquired experience, knowledge, and skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my clinical education and career. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being a part of a research team and being surrounded by other researchers and professionals in my field. It was so interesting to learn more about my topic of immunocompromised children and to actively participate in child health research.

What has WCHRI's support through the Foundations for your studentship meant to you?

I am truly honoured to have received the summer studentship award from WCHRI through funding provided by the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. It means so much to have my project chosen to be funded, as it makes me feel like my hard work is valued and recognized. With WCHRI's support, I was able to focus entirely on pursuing my interests in research and child health this summer. I am now in a better position to achieve my research and career goals after this experience.

Lay abstract:

Immunizations are key to protect populations from infectious agents that can cause severe disease, disability, and death. Some diseases children are routinely immunized against include diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, and more. Immunocompromised children have impaired immune systems due to conditions, medical treatments, or medications that suppress their immune system, thereby increasing their susceptibility to vaccine-preventable diseases. However, these children may not be able to tolerate certain vaccines, such as live vaccines that can potentially cause them harm. Ensuring that immunocompromised children have received the appropriate vaccines can be challenging for parents and clinicians, yet it is critical to protect the children's health. In order to determine if immunocompromised children are being appropriately immunized, it is important to assess immunization coverage (the proportion of children immunized) in this population. The purpose of this scoping review is to determine the current state of knowledge regarding immunization coverage of children who are immunocompromised. Ascertaining the current state of knowledge about immunization coverage of children who are immunocompromised will enable us to determine the focus of our future work in this field. Such work will be useful in guiding future research, informing public policy, and improving immunization services.