Robyn Harrison

Dr. Robyn Alana Harrison, MD, MSc, FRCPC, is a Canadian infectious diseases specialist based in Edmonton, Alberta. She speaks English and French.1)

She is notable in the COVID-19 pandemic due to her role as Vice-chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

Education

Dr. Harrison obtained her medical degree at Dalhousie University, and completed her Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases subspecialty training at the University of Alberta. Most recently, she completed an MSc in the combined areas of Public Health and Epidemiology through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Affiliations

University of Alberta

Dr. Harrison is a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta.2) She also practices at the University of Alberta Hospital, at least as recently as 2014.3)

The U of A Hospital is funded through the University Hospital Foundation by Astellas Pharma, Bell Media, Biogen, BIOTECanada, Boehringer Ingelheim, Canadian National Railway (a Bill and Melinda Gates company), Corus Entertainment, CTV, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Deloitte, Ernst & Young LLP, Fidelity Investments, Global News, Janssen, KPMG, London Drugs, Medtronic, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, PricewaterhouseCoopers, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada)/RBC Foundation, Roche, Scotiabank, Servier, Suncor Energy, Sun Life Financial, Takeda, TELUS, University of Calgary, Volvo, and WestJet.4) 5) 6)

Many of these are member organizations of the World Economic Forum, and the others listed have been demonstrated to have a degree of conflict of interest (real or perceived) in influencing the COVID-19 pandemic response.7) This includes financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and media.

Covenant Health

Dr. Harrison practices medicine as an infectious diseases and internal medicine specialist at Grey Nuns Community Hospital under Covenant Health.8) 9) She also served as consultant for the Covenant Health Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Program from 2008-2014.

Alberta Health Services (2009-current)

Dr. Harrison is a Communicable Disease Consultant for the province-wide Alberta Health Services Workplace Health and Safety Program, a position she has held since 2009. In this role, she co-authored an open letter addressing concerns and “misinformation” about the safety of the COVID-19 injections alongside members of the AHS Scientific Advisory Group, including Lynora Saxinger and John Conly.10) The letter was published on October 1st, 2021.

Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization (2015-present)

Dr. Harrison is a member of the Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization, and she participates in infection prevention working groups in the province of Alberta, including past work on pandemic influenza H1N1 in 2009, and avian influenza in 2014.

Royal Society of Canada

Dr. Harrison was recruited to the RSC Task Force on COVID-19 by the President of the Royal Society of Canada in April 2020. The group was established to rapidly create policy briefings. In February 2021, she co-authored a report titled “The Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Canada in 2020: The Pre-Vaccine Era.”11)

National Advisory Committee on Immunization (2017-current)

Dr. Harrison began as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) in September 2017, and has served as Chair of the Hepatitis and Influenza working groups.12) On December 19, 2020, she delivered a presentation hosted by CANVax and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases to inform health care workers about NACI’s Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.13) 14) She was appointed as the Vice-chair of NACI in June 2021.15) On June 18, she participated in a French language webinar for the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants on the topic of COVID-19 vaccine interchangeability.16)

On October 27, 2021, she participated in a webinar discussing flu shots in the 2021/2022 influenza season.17) The video, posted to the YouTube channel for the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, reveals that the Public Health Agency of Canada and NACI were aiming for an 80% rate of flu vaccine uptake.18)

She has received repayment for travel expense totalling less than $1,000 from PHAC since 2017.

Research

Dr. Harrison’s areas of study include infection prevention, workplace health and safety, and immunizations.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Dr. Harrison is an Editorial Contributor/Reviewer for an antimicrobial resistance project called Bugs & Drugs.19) Other team members include:

The project was funded by Alberta Health Services, Alberta Health, and the BC Ministry of Health, Pharmaceutical Services Division.

COVID-19

Dr. Harrison is a site investigator for Canadian COVID-19 Cohort Study (CCCS), studying the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Canadian healthcare workers.20) The specific items for research include the rate of COVID-19 infection, risk factors for infection (occupational and community), antibody levels over time, uptake of vaccines against COVID-19, and psychological impact of working during a pandemic. Dr. Harrison’s study group includes staff working at either Grey Nuns Community Hospital or the University of Alberta Hospital.

The CCCS study page bearing Dr. Harrison’s name is hosted on the website for the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network at Mount Sinai Hospital, which is funded by “an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Canada Inc.”

1)
Doctor Harrison Robyn Alana Infectious diseases specialist in Edmonton. Doctor of Alberta. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://archive.ph/XfnWc
2)
Robyn Harrison, MD, MSc, FRCPC. Directory@UAlberta; University of Alberta. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://archive.ph/Rdb4X
3)
The AATHP Annual Travel Health Symposium & General Meeting 2014 (p. 3). (2014). Alberta Association of Travel Health Professionals. https://web.archive.org/web/20220321181523/http://aathp.com/AATHP_conf_2014.pdf
7)
Partners. World Economic Forum. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://web.archive.org/web/20220319000719/https://www.weforum.org/partners
8)
Dr. Harrison - Doctor Robyn Alana Harrison - 2275-1100 Youville Drive West NW Grey Nuns Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. Alberta Doctor Directory. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://archive.ph/rGesh
9)
Grey Nuns Community Hospital. Alberta Health Services. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://archive.ph/sZQ4e
10)
Constantinescu, C., Kellner, J. D., Conly, J., Klein, K., Saxinger, L. M., Wickland-Weller, M., Harrison, R., & Smith, S. W. (2021). An open letter in response to vaccine concerns and misinformation. Alberta Health Services. https://web.archive.org/web/20220321163612/https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/news/nr/ne-nr-2021-10-01-response-vaccine-concerns-misinformation.pdf
11)
Sligl, W., Waldner, D., Johnstone, J., Harrison, R., Webster, D., & Saxinger, L. (2021, February). The epidemiology of COVID-19 in Canada in 2020: the pre-vaccine era. Royal Society of Canada. https://www.interacademies.org/sites/default/files/2021-02/Epid%20PB_EN.pdf
12)
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2021, June 15). Statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada Announcing the New Chair and Vice-Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Direct Source News; Wayback Machine. https://archive.ph/YBohl
13)
NCCID. (2020, December 11). Recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases. https://archive.ph/StT0O
14)
NCCID • CCNMI. (2020, December 19). Recommendations of NACI on the Use of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID 19 Vaccine. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sE-si0XW3k
15)
Public Health Agency of Canada. (2021, June 7). Statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada Announcing the New Chair and Vice-Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. Government of Canada. https://archive.ph/rWLid
16)
Upcoming Events CAPA - ACAM NACI Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccine Interchangeability. (2021, June 18). Canadian Association of Physician Assistants. https://archive.ph/O1LY8
17)
PHAC webinar for health care providers: seasonal influenza immunization 2021-2022. (2021, October 20). National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases. https://archive.ph/OhdMH
18)
NCCID • CCNMI. (2021, November 29). PHAC Webinar for Health Care Providers: Seasonal Influenza Immunization 2021-2022. YouTube. https://web.archive.org/web/20220321165148/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlg0YDT9nRg
19)
B&D - The App. Bugs and Drugs. Retrieved March 24, 2022, from https://archive.ph/h9lq7
20)
Edmonton - Canadian COVID-19 Cohort Study (CCCS): Study of the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Canadian healthcare workers. TIBDN: Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://archive.ph/3u0sv
Print/export