How seniors can access 4 key vaccines this fall — for COVID, flu, pneumonia, and RSV


Physicians warn patchwork approaches across provinces, high costs for certain shots may hinder uptake.

With COVID-19 hospitalizations rising again, plus early signals suggesting other respiratory viruses are starting to circulate, Canada has an expanded slate of vaccines for seniors in its arsenal. 

COVID, influenza, pneumococcal, and — for the first time — respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines will all be available this fall for older adults. 

There’s hope the mix of new and updated shots will help keep more seniors out of hospital as health-care teams brace for the possibility of yet another busy fall and winter.

But while older Canadians may have more options to protect themselves than ever before, physicians warn staggered rollouts, patchwork approaches among the provinces, and high costs for certain shots could hinder uptake.

“The vaccine landscape is becoming more promising for older Canadians,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, the director of geriatrics at Sinai Health System in Toronto. “It’s also becoming a bit more complicated.”

Here’s what seniors need to know about the slate of shots arriving this fall.

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