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COVID-19 vaccine uptake among Canada's oldest residents higher than for flu shot

Last Updated Apr 29, 2021 at 3:57 pm PDT

Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer at Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks during a COVID-19 press conference at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Kawai

OTTAWA – Health Canada data suggest seniors are getting vaccinated in higher numbers for COVID-19 than they did for the flu.

Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo says almost nine in 10 Canadians over the age of 80 have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

He also says at least one dose has been more than eight in 10 people in their 70s.

“Since January, we have seen a decline in COVID-19 incidence rates among adults 80 years or older,” said Njoo.

“A promising trend related to the fact that the majority of individuals in this group has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and many have received both doses.”


Health Canada’s annual flu shot survey found about seven in 10 seniors were vaccinated for this year’s flu season.

Nationally, close to 12 million Canadians have been given at least their first dose of vaccine, with close to a quarter-million doses now being injected every day.

Njoo says the harsher outcomes of COVID-19 for seniors may be driving more of them to get vaccinated against it, but he says he hopes this will help encourage increased uptake of all vaccines.

Federal officials say there will be a massive ramp-up of COVID-19 vaccine doses started next week.

Major-General Dany Fortin outlined the new numbers at a news conference in Ottawa.

“The ramping up of the vaccine rollout continues with the arrival in-country of another vaccine,” said Fortin.