Canada’s health research community responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic from the time the first cases were identified in late 2019. Over the past two years, researchers across the country have rallied together to create new scientific knowledge and provide critical evidence to guide Canada’s response to the pandemic and keep Canadians safe. As the pandemic evolves, they continue to work on issues facing Canadians and their work is and will continue to help with our recovery from this pandemic. The Government of Canada has supported the research response to the pandemic with investments of nearly $280 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to have an emergency-ready health research system in place. To further strengthen Canada’s research capability, today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, announced the creation of the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies with an ongoing investment of $18.5 million per year. The Research Centre, which will be housed within CIHR, will collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, as well as stakeholders domestically and internationally. It will focus on growing Canada’s capacity to research and mobilize knowledge to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from existing and future pandemics and public health emergencies.
While work is underway to establish its governance structure and recruit personnel, the Research Centre has supported several COVID-19 research initiatives. This includes support for the COVID-19 Evidence Network, which produces summaries of the best available science on COVID-19-related issues for decision makers, and support for research projects that will help understand and address the wider health impacts of the pandemic.