Julia Wolf

“If the current research is not accurately representing the population, our evidence-based practice may be skewed, causing a decrease in the quality of care patients will receive.”

A scoping review identifying diversity characteristics in Canadian studies of childhood vaccination in comparison to Australia and New Zealand

The provision of vaccinations in Canada must be inclusive—regardless of one's ethnicity, age or immigration/refugee status. Canada prides itself on being a cultural mosaic of diverse coexisting ethnic groups, languages and cultures. However, it is uncertain if these are properly acknowledged as factors that affect childhood vaccination uptake. The purpose of my project is to determine the gaps in Canadian studies regarding how childhood vaccination uptake is affected by equity determinants. In this study, I will be focusing on ethnicity, race, culture, language, religion and immigration/refugee status.

I will conduct a scoping review to identify the accuracy of the measurement of equity characteristics in Canadian studies focused on childhood vaccination (birth to 17 years of age). To aid in the analyses, I will compare my Canadian findings to those from Australia and New Zealand as these nations are comparable with vaccination programs and face similar health care issues. Furthermore, both countries are continuing their processes of reconciliation of intergenerational trauma inflicted upon Indigenous groups (Maori, Indigenous Australians, First Nations, Metis and Inuk) through colonial impositions.

I believe that this research will contribute to the body of literature about equitable solutions for improving childhood vaccination coverage in Canada. It will also enlighten researchers in the field of immunization, in Canada and elsewhere, about gaps in research regarding recognition and measurement of diversity characteristics that have important impacts on equity in vaccine access. In doing so, it will allow for more transferable literature and equitable solutions for improving pediatric vaccination coverage in Canada.

Julia Wolf was supervised by Shannon MacDonald and her summer studentship was funded by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is enrolled in the Bachelor of Science with Honors in Nursing program.