The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) just released a guidance document titled COVID-19 Vaccines: What Older Canadians Need to Know, authored by Dr. Samir Sinha, Ms. Sabina Vohra-Miller, and Dr. Jennie Johnstone. The document outlines common questions arising among older Canadians regarding COVID-19 vaccines, along with evidence-informed answers to help keep Canadians up to date on the facts.

A variety of questions are answered within the document, including:

  • Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective in older adults?
  • What are the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines in older adults?
  • Is it safe and recommended for older persons living with dementia to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • I’m an older adult living in the community, when will I get the vaccine?
  • What about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine? Is this an option for me?

In late 2020, two vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were approved in Canada, the United States, and Europe, to protect adults from getting sick and possibly dying from COVID-19. News of these vaccines being developed and approved in less than one year has been met with excitement, hope, and but also skepticism, particularly among older adults and some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The guidance document explains in clear language how vaccines work, what mRNA is and how it’s used to make vaccines, the critical steps taken to creating the COVID-19 vaccines, its effectiveness in older adults, any side effects, and whether or not older adults who have already have COVID-19 need to be vaccinated.

The NIA encourages Canadians to read and share this document to help spread evidence-based answers to key questions and concerns many older Canadians are facing. If you are an older adult – or caring for an older adult – that does not want to get the vaccine, it may be helpful to read and share this guidance document widely.

Read the full document here:

COVID-19 Vaccines: What Older Canadians Need to Know