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Press Release: IFA Launches Report Identifying Barriers to Adult Influenza Vaccination in Canada

26 November 2019

Toronto, ON – Vaccination against influenza is critical to the health and functional ability of Canadian seniors as well as people with chronic disease, who are at higher risk of morbidity, mortality and prolonged recovery due to underlying frailty and changes in immune function.

For these reasons, the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is ramping up efforts to end immunization inequality in Canada and around the world.  Today, the IFA launches a report identifying five major barriers to adult influenza vaccination in Canada:

  1. Lack of a national vaccination schedule
  2. Absence of consistent messaging
  3. Inadequate access and availability to more effective vaccines
  4. Lack of comprehensive influenza surveillance and vaccination data
  5. Inequity

The focus of the report is on influenza vaccination for Canadian seniors, given the devastating and costly impact the disease has on at-risk groups.  The IFA is encouraging patient organizations, healthcare providers, families and employers to come together on the issue to place adult immunization on their agenda.

The report is a result of an IFA-led expert meeting* in June 2019 which brought together a group of Canadian experts in influenza vaccination and public health, alongside leaders of ageing and at-risk patient organizations to identify opportunities to help build capacity and influence vaccine-related policy across Canada.  It is the IFA’s hope that knowledge gained through this report will help to shape future strategies to increase adult vaccination uptake rates for Canadians.

To read the full report, click here.

*The IFA expert meeting “Adult Influenza Vaccination: Calling Canadian Patient Organizations to Action” and resulting report were made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Sanofi Pasteur.

About the International Federation on Ageing: The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) is an international, non-governmental organization (NGO) with a unique membership base comprising government, NGOs, academics, industry, and individuals in over 70 countries.  Now over 45 years old, the IFA has become known as a leading and innovative organization that works across disciplines and sectors toward common goals that improve the lives of older people.  Through the IFA’s formal relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and general consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies, the IFA is in the position to advocate directly with member states and contribute to and inform intergovernmental dialogue.

About the IFA’s Vaccines4Life (V4L) Program: V4L aims to help build a world where healthy ageing and functional ability of older people are maintained through strong vaccination uptake rates.  The program has grown to be one of the leading voices and advocates for adult vaccination, working at global, country and regional levels with the aim of unifying the message and actions across to stakeholders to drive policy and practice change.  V4L expert meetings and summits are convened as platforms to build a sustainable advocacy network and strategy that focus on specific barriers preventing a more comprehensive approach to changing policy.

The IFA World Coalition on Adult Vaccination acts as a focal point to bring together and disseminate good practice as well as consolidate the voices of experts and their organisations.  The Coalition formally comments on and highlights high level strategies at the WHO, United Nations, and similar agencies, and elevates the critical policy focus through consensus statements and campaigns.

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