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PHO Rounds: Immigration/migration as a Social Determinant of Health and Use of ICES Data

In the coming years, Canada is anticipating accepting the highest numbers of permanent residents in its history; upwards of 465,000 people annually. Currently, about 22% of Canadians were born in another country. Despite the continued importance of im/migrants to Canada, their health is rarely understood through a social determinants of health (SDOH) lens. This presentation will describe im/migration in relation to the SDOH, review the immigration database housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and describe COVID-19 vaccine uptake using disaggregated data from this database and touch on community engagement strategies. To appreciate the diversity of immigrants and the potential complexity involved with improving vaccine uptake, known barriers, facilitators, and determinants of vaccine uptake among migrants more broadly will also be reviewed.

Intended audience: Public health organizations and practitioners that work with immigrants and immigrant-serving organizations. Researchers, epidemiologists, and analysts interested in using the immigration data at ICES. Policy makers. Medical Officers of Health (MoH), Assistant Medical Officers of Health (AMoHs), and Community health partners.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify how im/migration is a structural and social determinant of health.
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of the Immigration & Refugee Citizenship Canada (IRCC) database housed at ICES.
  • Interpret data on uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among immigrants and refugees in Ontario.
  • Describe the barriers, facilitators, and determinants of vaccine uptake in migrant populations.

Présentateur(s): Dr. Susitha Wanigaratne

Dr. Susitha Wanigaratne, PhD, is a Senior Research Associate at the Leong Centre for Healthy Children at the Sick Kids Research Institute and a Fellow at ICES. She is a social epidemiologist whose work considers immigration to be a social and structural determinant of health. She is interested in harnessing the power of administrative health and social data to contribute to and help facilitate positive social change which improves the health and well-being of minoritized communities. She holds a PhD and a MHSc in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Avis de non-responsabilité

The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Grand Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Mis à jour le 2 févr. 2023