UPDATED: What Older Canadians Need to Know about COVID-19 Vaccines

National Institute on Ageing
Description / Summary

NIA releases updated version of expert guidance on COVID-19 vaccines to dispel myths, address concerns, and promote uptake 

The National Institute on Ageing (NIA) released an updated version of the expert 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 second version of the document outlines common questions arising among older Canadians regarding COVID-19 vaccines, including new evidence-based information pertaining to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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

  • How do vaccines work?
  • What is an adenovirus and how is it used to make vaccines?
  • I heard people were developing blood clots after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine, is that true?
  • Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect against the new virus variants that are emerging?
  • Now that vaccines are underway, when will we be able to go back to regular life?

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. In early 2021, two additional vaccines were approved for use in Canada; one by AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University and one by Johnson & Johnson. News of these four COVID-19 vaccines being developed and approved in less than one year has been met with excitement and hope, but also skepticism, particularly among older adults and some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
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.