British Columbia CANVAS-COVID

The Vaccine Evaluation Center

The Vaccine Evaluation Center (VEC) was established in 1988. It was the first academic center for independent vaccine research in Canada and has been an international leader in vaccinology research. The VEC is engaged in an average of 20 vaccine research studies at any time and is jointly supported by BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the University of British Columbia.

Study Team


Dr. Manish Sadarangani

Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital

Sauder Family Chair in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of British Columbia
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Sadarangani began the role of VEC Director in 2016. He joined the VEC from The Children’s Hospital in Oxford, UK, where he was a Clinical Lecturer and Consultant in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology. Dr. Sadarangani plans to build a research program that incorporates laboratory, clinical and population-based studies. His work includes studying the relationships between bowel bacteria and responses to infant vaccines, as increasing evidence points to “good germs” being able to strengthen immunity. The ultimate goal of his research is to inform evidence-based policy to lower the burden of childhood infectious diseases through vaccination.


Dr. Julie Bettinger

Investigator, BC Children’s Hospital
Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Bettinger is an Associate Professor at the VEC in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests include vaccine safety and vaccine preventable diseases as well as attitudes and beliefs around immunization uptake and use. She is the epidemiologist for the Canadian Immunization Monitoring Program, Active (IMPACT), an active surveillance network for vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine adverse events in 12 tertiary care pediatric hospitals across Canada and the lead investigator for CANVAS.

Site Coordinator

Kendrix Kek

Vaccine Evaluation Center, BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Kendrix joined the VEC at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. With a passion in infectious disease research and an interest in vaccine development, he undertook various COVID-19-related projects at VEC, which led him to coordinate the CANVAS COVID-19 study at the Vancouver, Yukon and Northwest Territories sites. He obtained his BSc in Biology with a minor in English Literature from the University of British Columbia and was granted the Karen McKellin International Leader of Tomorrow award.

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