Funding opportunity to evaluate influenza prevention policy

MSFHR is requesting applications for a research project that will evaluate the effectiveness of British Columbia’s province-wide influenza prevention policy.

Update (March 16): Application deadline extended to April 30, 2015

MSFHR is requesting applications for a research project that will evaluate the effectiveness of British Columbia’s province-wide influenza prevention policy.

In 2012, BC became the first Canadian province to implement a policy requiring all health care workers to either receive the seasonal influenza vaccine or wear a mask while in patient care areas. Vaccination of health care workers has been shown in other jurisdictions to reduce the risk of transmission to colleagues, patients, and families. With the policy in place, there is now an opportunity to gather empirical evidence of its impact in BC over several flu seasons.

One research team will be selected to receive funding for a period of up to three years. The maximum amount of the award is $360,000.

Full application instructions and guidelines

A successful application must include all of the following:

  1. investigations using administrative, survey or other data to test whether absenteeism rates due to all causes, and due to influenza and influenza-like illnesses, differ between health care workers (providing direct patient care) who have received seasonal vaccination compared to those who have not;
  2. investigations into influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities in BC to determine whether such outbreaks have changed with respect to incidence, duration and severity following implementation of the policy;
  3. data for the investigations in #1 and #2 must include historical data from prior to 2012 and data from several influenza seasons following implementation of the policy; and
  4. the research team must include representatives from all of the provincial Health Authorities and from the Ministry of Health.

Applications must be submitted by email to Cindy Soules, Manager, Projects, (csoules@msfhr.org) by 4 p.m. Pacific time, April 30, 2015. A funding decision is anticipated by June 1.