Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) has awarded the CHILD Cohort Study (CHILD) more than $400,000 to study how COVID-19 is impacting individuals and families across Canada.
The funding is in addition to a $1.7 million award (Canadian Institutes of Health Research-CIHR & Research Manitoba) announced by Canada’s Minister of Health in June 2020, and a significant grant from the Government of Alberta, bringing the total funding for CHILD’s COVID-19 research to nearly $2.8 million.
CHILD involves nearly 3,500 participating families (12,000 individuals) across Canada and is one of only a few cohorts in the world that has recently collected pre-pandemic biosamples and psychosocial data.
This one-year national project, led by Dr. Meghan Azad (University of Manitoba; CHILD Manitoba site co-leader) will investigate why some people infected with the virus become seriously ill, while others do not, and will help identify risk factors for infection. The research will also examine how physical distancing and school and business closures have affected mental health and wellbeing, especially in children.
To ensure harmonization with global research efforts, CHILD’s COVID-19 study has aligned with international cohorts in the US and Australia, and with the Common Infrastructure for National Cohorts in Europe, Canada, and Africa (CINECA), in order to assess the impact of the pandemic in different settings with different policies and public health approaches.
“We are truly fortunate in Canada to have CHILD as a platform for novel health research,” said Dr. Azad. “In addition to our international collaborators, CHILD is delighted to have the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial public health authorities in four provinces as knowledge users to help disseminate our findings about COVID-19 impacts across the country.”
“Finally, we are incredibly grateful to our participating CHILD families and the National Participant Engagement Committee for helping to shape this important project and for their ongoing dedication to contribute to important discoveries about child health and development.”