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

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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.

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press