McMaster University receives $5 million for study on vaccines in long-term care

Hamilton’s McMaster University is once again leading the pack in terms of research and innovation, receiving a $5 million grant to conduct research on vaccination against COVID-19 in long-term care settings.

This research – funded by the federal government’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force – marks one of the largest single studies focusing on Canada’s long-term care homes, with the goal of investigating how well vaccination works in long-term care residents.

The year-long study is occurring in partnership with Schlegel Villages, St. Joseph’s Health System, and Health Sciences North Research Institute, and will involve over 2,000 participating residents, staff, and visitors in the long-term care system.

Part of the study’s focus will also be on determining which features of long-term care homes might be associated with outbreaks, and whether or not future outbreaks are likely in homes with previous infections.

“We aim to determine how well vaccination works in residents of long-term care homes and discover whether a resident’s previous exposure to the virus or immune system response can protect them or make them vulnerable to further infection,” says Andrew Costa, associate professor of health research methods, evidence, and impact at McMaster.

The study is certainly a vital one. Some of the COVID-19 pandemic’s most devastating impacts have occurred within long-term care settings, with numerous homes in Hamilton reckoning with massive outbreaks of the virus.

One of the most notable is Grace Villa, the Hamilton Mountain-based long-term care home that became national news as the city’s largest COVID-19 outbreak, with over 230 confirmed cases of the virus and 44 outbreak-related deaths.

Read more about the study on the McMaster website

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