Shannon MacDonald, PhD RN

Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health
Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Applied Pediatric Immunization


Professor, Faculty of Nursing
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
11405 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 1C9

Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Applied Pediatric Immunization


Area of Study / Keywords

Immunization Vaccine Child health Public health


My program of research focuses on supporting immunization best practice and policies. I have a particular interest in addressing system-level barriers to achieving high immunization coverage, especially in under-served populations.

My research training is in epidemiology, public health, and nursing, including a post-doctoral fellowship in the Alberta Ministry of Health. My clinical background is in pediatric intensive care, having worked in pediatric ICUs in Newfoundland and North Carolina, before I changed my focus more toward public health and preventive care. I subsequently taught in schools of nursing in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and participated in various international maternal-child health projects. My primary interest continues to be child health/pediatrics, although I also study adult immunization.

My areas of interest and expertise include:

  • Immunization
  • Infectious disease
  • Child health, particularly under-served populations such as children in the child welfare system and Indigenous child health
  • Public health

Academic and clinical training

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow (2013-2016) University of Calgary Department of Pediatrics & Alberta Ministry of Health
  • PhD (Nursing) (2013) University of Alberta
  • Master of Nursing (2002) Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Bachelor of Nursing (1997) Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Bachelor of Science (Zoology) (1993) University of Alberta

Recent awards

  • Alberta Health Services President’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Innovation and Research Excellence (2018), as part of the Alberta Provincial Pediatric EnTeric Infection TEam (APPETITE)
  • Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP) Career Development Award (2017-2021)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship (2014-2016)


My methodological strengths are in quantitative research, epidemiology, administrative health data, and survey methods. I also include qualitative methods in many of my research projects, working with colleagues with expertise in this approach. I often collaborate with multi-disciplinary clinicians and policy-makers at Alberta Health and AHS to answer questions of practical importance to immunization policy and clinical practice.


As Principal investigator (PI) or Co-PI

  • Vaccination in a pandemic: The impact on routine vaccinations and future COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. CIHR COVID Rapid Funding Grant, PI, 2020-2024 ($335,000)
  • Vaccination in a pandemic: Perspectives of equity-seeking groups and healthcare providers on COVID-19 vaccination. CIHR CIRN, PI, 2021-2024 ($179,000)
  • Estimation of long-term COVID-19 health state utility values. CIHR CIRN, Co-PI, 2021-2024 ($115,165)
  • Nishtoohtamihk la michinn avik aen nijhwii (Understanding vaccination): HPV vaccination coverage and experience among Metis in Alberta. CIHR CIRN, PI, 2021-2024 ($182,848)
  • Optimizing adult vaccination outcomes under public health budgetary constraints. Co-PI. CIHR Catalyst Grant: Impacts of financial/organizational restructuring of public health, Co-PI, 2019-2022 ($139,850)
  • Canadian Immunization Research Network: COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness. CIHR, Co-PI, 2020-2024 ($3,500,000)
  • Influenza immunization for all Canadians: Does one size fit all? CIHR Catalyst Grant: Sex as a Variable in Biomedical Research, Co-PI, 2018-2022 ($149,815).
  • Evaluating public health interventions II: Evidence-based decisions regarding immunization policy and programs to reduce the burden of preventable disease (vaccine coverage, determinants, & safety). Alberta Ministry of Health, PI, 2018-2022 ($872,500). 
  • Childhood immunization in Alberta First Nations people: Measurement of coverage and identification of barriers and supports. CIHR, PI, 2017-2023 ($199,884). 
  • Helping health care providers address the drop in childhood immunization coverage between age 12 and 18 months: A pilot test of text message reminders. Public Health Agency of Canada, PI, 2018-2021 ($320,055).

As Co-investigator (selected grants)

  • Supporting Canadian health service users with decision-making on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and lactation. PHAC Immunization Partnership Fund, 2021-2023, $500,000. 
  • Unpacking vaccine hesitancy in Canada. CIHR: Emerging COVID-19 research gaps and priorities funding opportunity, 2021-2022 ($499,870)
  • Examining drivers of vaccine hesitancy and approaches to vaccine confidence in Canada. CIHR: Emerging COVID-19 research gaps and priorities funding opportunity, 2021-2022 ($251,232)
  • Enhancing a community of practice for the health system impact fellowship program: Advancing capacity for sustainable & patient-centered learning health systems across Canada. CIHR: Health System Impact Fellowship-National Cohort Retreat-National Cohort Training Program, 2021-2023 ($200,000)
  • Post-marketing surveillance for COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy in Alberta: Improving the public health impact of vaccinations for mother-infant health. Calgary Health Foundation, 2021-2022 ($250,000)
  • COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy: A province-wide epidemiological assessment of safety and effectiveness using the BORN Ontario Registry.  Canadian Immunity Task Force. 2021-2022
  • Adapting, implementing and evaluating MumBubVax in Canada: An intervention to protect every mom and every baby. CIHR CIRN, 2021-2023 ($225,000)
  • An intervention using narratives to address vaccine hesitancy online. CIHR Catalyst Grant: Understanding Disease Prevention and Risk Factor Modification program ($99,475)
  • Enhancing HPV vaccination in First Nations populations in Alberta (EHVINA Study): Towards a sustainable, community-driven, knowledge translation strategy. Alberta Innovates Cancer Prevention Research Opportunity, 2016-2021 ($1,240,000).


I have taught:

  • NURS 682 (Causal analysis in health research)
  • NURS 589, 590, & 591 (Community of Inquiry)


NURS 589 - Master's Community of Inquiry I

Deepen understanding of the nature of nursing scholarship and research by engaging with the work of nursing faculty researchers. Emphasis is placed on developing collaborative critical dialogue as an introduction to systematic enquiry into a topic of relevance to the student's selected area of advanced focus.

NURS 590 - Master's Community of Inquiry II

Explore development of questions appropriate for systematic research and inquiry. Emphasis is placed on locating and exploring literature that informs the current state and limits of knowledge relevant to the student's selected advanced focus area of study. Prerequisite: NURS 589.

Browse more courses taught by Shannon MacDonald

Featured Publications

2022 January;

King KD, Bartel R, James A, MacDonald SE

Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2022 January; 10.17269/s41997-021-00603-7

Sell H, Assi A, Driedger SM, Dubé E, Gagneur A, Meyer SB, Robinson J, Tunis M, MacDonald SE

Vaccine. 2021 December; 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.08.044

Humble RM, Hannah S, Dubé E, MacDonald NE, Robinson J, Driedger SM, Sadarangani M, Meyer SB, Wilson S, Benzies KM, Lemaire-Paquette S, MacDonald SE.

Vaccine. 2021 December; 10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.10.002

Rafferty E, Reifferscheid L, Russel ML, Booth S, Svenson LW, MacDonald SE

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. 2021 July; 10.1007/s10096-021-04298-z

MacDonald SE, Palichuck A, Slater L, Tripp H, Reifferscheid L, Burton C

Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. 2021 March; 10.1080/21645515.2021.1935169