COVID-19 vaccination in Canada: an educational series for primary care professionals

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

This self-learning series from DFCM and the Ontario College of Family Physicians is designed to provide primary care professionals with the knowledge and skills to support Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination effort. 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. Evidence and policy are evolving rapidly and we will be making every effort to keep the modules up-to-date.

Seven modules cover why we need the vaccine, the safety and efficacy of mRNA vaccines, the safety and efficacy of viral vector vaccines, plans for vaccine rollout, how to build vaccine confidence among patients, emerging issues, and vaccination in children. New content was added on November 18th, 2021, particularly a new chapter on vaccination in children age 5-11.

The modules are interactive and include references, practical resources and reflective questions to help consolidate learning. They also include short videos from the COVID-19 Community of Practice for Family Physicians.

Register here to access the free COVID-19 vaccination modules*

*Once registered, you will receive a link to the elearning modules via email. 

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.

Curriculum goal and learning objectives

Goal: Building capability among primary care professionals to support COVID-19 vaccination.

Learning objectives
After participating in this educational module series, participants will be able to:

  • Explain how vaccines can help end the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Describe how vaccines were approved in Canada and the plans for the vaccine rollout.
  • Communicate how the approved vaccines work, their safety and efficacy, and who should receive them.
  • Counsel special populations on the benefits and risks of the vaccine.
  • Employ evidence-informed strategies to build vaccine confidence among patients and address common concerns.

Module topics

The educational series currently includes six modules. New content will be added as further vaccines are approved and more information is available on the vaccine rollout.

Module 1: Why we need the vaccine

  • The toll of COVID-19
  • The promise of the vaccine
  • Vaccines in Canada

Module 2: mRNA vaccines

  • How mRNA vaccines work
  • Safety and efficacy
  • Special populations
  • Anaphylaxis incidence and management

Module 3: Viral vector vaccines

  • What are viral vector vaccines?
  • Safety and efficacy
  • Indications and use

Module 4: The vaccine rollout

  • Key populations for early immunization
  • Proposed rollout in Ontario
  • The role of primary care
  • Vaccinating in your office

Module 5: Building vaccine confidence

  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Taking an equity lens
  • An evidence-informed approach to building vaccine confidence
  • Common questions and answers
  • Putting it all together

Module 6: Emerging issues

  • Variants of concern
  • Dosing interval
  • COVID-19 transmission after vaccination
  • Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT)

Module 7: Vaccination in children

  • Dose and composition
  • Efficacy
  • Safety
  • Risk of myocarditis and pericarditis
  • Benefits of vaccinating children
  • Our role as primary care clinicians
  • Common questions and concerns
  • Resources

Citation and acknowledgement

Series citation: Tara Kiran, Noah Ivers. COVID-19 vaccination in Canada: an educational series for primary care professionals. Quality and Innovation Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto; Toronto, Canada, 2021.

Module authors:

  • Module 1. Tara Kiran, Carly Schenker, Noah Ivers
  • Module 2. Tara Kiran, Brenda Chang, Ali Damji, Noah Ivers
  • Module 3. Tara Kiran, Brenda Chang, Noah Ivers
  • Module 4. Tara Kiran, Noah Ivers
  • Module 5. Tara Kiran, Debbie Elman, Noah Ivers
  • Module 6. Tara Kiran, Noah Ivers
  • Module 7. Tara Kiran, Noah Ivers

Conflict of Interest Disclosures
COI Disclosure forms for the series’ authors are available for viewing here


We would like to acknowledge Olivia Neale who, through her expertise in instructional design, brought the content and active learning to life in Articulate Rise; Brian Da Silva for sharing his guidance on optimizing the e-module platform and expertise in videography; Kirsten Szymanski for excellence in administrative support; and Trish O’Brien who provided invaluable educational consultation and support. We would also like to extend a thank you to our panelists from the COVID-19 Community of Practice and to Dr. Tali Bogler for contributing video segments. Finally, a special thank you to our many peer reviewers:

Allen Greenwood (Ontario College of Family Physicians), Amanda van Hal (Centre for Effective Practice), Anna Taddio (Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto), Anne Dabrowski (Centre for Effective Practice), Batya Grundland (Women's College Hospital; Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Colin Siu (Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Dominik Nowak (Union Health), Elizabeth Muggah (Ontario College of Family Physicians), Gary Bloch (St. Michael's Hospital), Harold Phillips Braden (St. Joseph’s Health Centre), Janice Kelly (Ontario Medical Association), Joanne Laine-Gossin (North York General Hospital; Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Lena Salach (Centre for Effective Practice), Leslie Nickell (Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Lisa Habermehl (Red Lake Family Health Team), Morgan Price (Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia), Paul Gill (Maitland Valley Family Health Team; Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Ritika Goel (Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Sakina Walji (Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team; Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Sarah Newbery (Marathon Family Health Team), Shaza Fadel (Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases; Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto), Shima Shakory (Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto), Sundeep Banwatt (Ontario College of Family Physicians; CarePoint Health), Tali Bogler (St. Michael's hospital; University of Toronto), Zainab Abdurrahman (McMaster University).

Copyright statement

You and/or your institution may use this educational series for non-commercial purposes, on the following conditions:

By using this educational series, you and/or your institution agree to the following:

The educational series and underlying materials belong to academic appointees of University of Toronto (UofT), UofT, and/or other sources, and are protected by copyright. This educational series should not replace clinical judgement, program-specific guidance or requirements of third parties including clinical sites and professional regulatory bodies. UofT makes no representations and extends no warranties of any kind with respect to the educational series, including that the use of the series will not infringe any patent, copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights; UofT is not responsible for any claims or losses associated with use of the series. Any use of the modules within the educational series must attribute sources appropriately, acknowledge the support of the University of Toronto and any modifications made.

If you and/or your institution plan to use this educational series for non-commercial purposes, please do let us know by contacting