COVID-19 Rapid Response Program funding for studies in Indigenous populations – UM Today

March 6, 2020 —

Two University of Manitoba researchers have received nearly $1 million in COVID-19 Rapid Response Program funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for research projects that focus on public health responses in Indigenous populations.

This morning, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of nearly $27 million to fund 47 coronavirus research teams across Canada.

Dr. Michelle Driedger (community health sciences) is receiving $499,731 for her study titled: The paradox of precaution: Examining public health COVID-19 outbreak management strategies.

Driedger, a former Canada Research Chair in Environment and Health Risk Communications says, “When I did research on pandemic H1N1 – funded through two different grants, one looking at the Manitoba Métis experience and one looking more generally at general population Canadians – our funding came after the second wave of the pandemic was finished. That meant that any public perspectives of the handling of H1N1 – how they felt communicated with through the media or public health about the virus and the vaccine – all occurred almost a year after the vaccine rolled out. The amazing thing about this “rapid response” COVID-19 funding is that researchers have the funds while the outbreak is evolving in real time. This means we will be able to collect data and help inform public health response efforts as we develop new insights from our research projects.

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