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Outbreaks, vaccines and immunity: A MacTalks event


Join McMaster researchers Dawn Bowdish and Andrew Costa in conversation with health columnist and commentator André Picard at a new MacTalks event: Outbreaks, Vaccines and Immunity: Inside Canada’s long-term care homes. Click here to register for the free virtual event on Thursday, April 15, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

About 70 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Canada have occurred in long-term care or nursing homes.

MIRA members Dawn Bowdish and Andrew Costa, who head one of the largest single studies focusing on long-term care homes in Canada, will join health columnist André Picard to talk about the impact and implications of the pandemic and vaccination when it comes to residents in long-term care.

Their research, hailed as a crucial part of protecting older adults, is part of Canada’s Global Nexus for Pandemics and Biological Threats, an international network based at McMaster, with scientists, clinicians, engineers, social scientists and other experts working to prevent future pandemics and mitigate global health threats.

Outbreaks, vaccines and immunity will be moderated by André Picard on Thursday, April 15, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

About the speakers

Dawn Bowdish focuses on understanding how the immune system fights infection in older adults. Her research explores ways in which age-related changes in immune response contribute to increased susceptibility to infection and diseases. She’s a professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University and is the Canada Research Chair in Aging & Immunity.

Bowdish  runs the Preclinical Studies in Aging Laboratory (, and is on the Board of Directors of the Lung Health Foundation, where she advocates to increase research funding for lung health and to increase lung health in older adults.

Andrew Costa studies evidence-based care and health policy affecting older adults. His focus is on developing and evaluating models of care and decision support systems in home and community care, long-term care, and emergency departments.

He is the Schlegel Research Chair in Clinical Epidemiology & Aging and is an assistant professor in the department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact and the department of Medicine at McMaster.

André Picard is an award-winning health columnist and commentator at The Globe and Mail, and the bestselling author of Neglected No More, a piercing look the state of elder care in Canada. He is an eight-time nominee for National Newspaper Awards, and has received the prestigious Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism.

MacTalks is an ongoing series of virtual conversations featuring McMaster researchers at the forefront of tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges and bringing a global view to the many issues we face today.

Click here to learn more or to register for Outbreaks, vaccines and immunity, a free MacTalks event.


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