Contact UsCareersMediaScienceContact UsHomeOur Voice Pfizer announces recipients of research grants focused on transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy in

What is standing in the way of equitable access to vaccines?

Thursday, April 24, 2024

National Immunization Awareness Week (April 22 -30, 2024) serves as a reminder of the vital role vaccines play in safeguarding public health and preventing diseases. Yet, disparities persist in accessing these important interventions, particularly among different segments of the population. It’s time to shed light on the challenges faced by adults in Canada in accessing vaccines.

In Canada, an increasing number of older adults are leading healthier lives and living independently in communities for longer periods.[1] As of 2020, 18% of Canadians were aged 65 and above, a number expected to climb to 23% by 2030.1 This trend underscores the importance of promoting strategies to support successful healthy aging, including access to preventive care.

However, within the adult population, there are various barriers hindering vaccine access, ranging from a lack of awareness and education to insufficient public health messaging.[2] Many adults remain uninformed about the vaccines recommended for their age group, which can lead to a lack of prioritization of vaccination.

Moreover, barriers such as out-of-pocket cost and limited availability of publicly funded vaccines can also impede uptake. It is important to acknowledge and address these challenges, prioritizing tailored education and accessibility initiatives.

CanAge, a leading advocacy organization for seniors, echoes these sentiments in their latest vaccine report card, providing a snapshot of how each province and territory in Canada is currently performing in adult vaccination.

"We are deeply concerned by Canada’s persistent failure to adequately address vaccine accessibility and distribution,” says Laura Tamblyn Watts, CEO at CanAge. “It’s alarming to witness this shortfall, particularly in light of the evidence supporting the effectiveness, affordability and critical role vaccines can play in safeguarding our wealth and well-being.”

CanAge's report card serves as a catalyst for action, urging policymakers and stakeholders to prioritize efforts to address disparities and ensure equitable access to vaccines for all adults.

"Vaccines are one of the most effective and cost-effective public health interventions, yet many adults in Canada are missing out on the benefits of vaccines due to various factors, such as lack of awareness, misinformation, and limited access," says Jia Hu, CEO and co-founder of the Adult Vaccine Alliance. "We need to work together to raise the profile of adult vaccination, educate the public and health care providers, and advocate for policies that support equitable and timely access to vaccines for all adults in Canada."

Pfizer Canada's commitment to vaccine equity is rooted in our long-standing history in vaccine research and development. For over a century, we have contributed to the global fight against infectious diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and COVID-19, by delivering safe and effective vaccines. We are proud of our achievements in vaccine science, including delivering the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine with our collaborator BioNTech in 2020, and in 2022 we produced more COVID-19 vaccine doses than any other vaccine manufacturer in the world.

However, we know that our work is not done until every person who needs a vaccine can access one. That is why we continue to invest in vaccine research and development, and collaborate with various stakeholders, such as governments, academic institutions, and advocacy organizations, to ensure that our vaccines reach those who need them.

National Immunization Awareness Week serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing disparities in vaccine access across different populations in Canada.

Pfizer believes that collaboration is key to achieving our common goal of improving global health and equity. By working together with other key stakeholders, we can leverage our collective expertise and resources to overcome the challenges and barriers that prevent many adults from accessing vaccines. We can also raise awareness and educate the public about the benefits and safety of vaccines and encourage them to make informed decisions about their health. Together, we can bridge the gap and ensure that every adult in Canada has access to the vaccines to help them live longer healthier lives.[3]

[1] Visconti C, Neiterman E. Shifting to Primary Prevention for an Aging Population: A Scoping Review of Health Promotion Initiatives for Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Canada. Cureus. 2021 Aug 11;13(8):e17109. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17109. PMID: 34532164; PMCID: PMC8436831.
[2] Stratoberdha D, Gobis B, Ziemczonek A, Yuen J, Giang A, Zed PJ. Barriers to adult vaccination in Canada: A qualitative systematic review. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2022 Jun 6;155(4):206-218. doi: 10.1177/17151635221090212. PMID: 35813527; PMCID: PMC9266373. Barriers to adult vaccination in Canada: A qualitative systematic review - PMC (, Accessed March 28, 2024.
[3] Ford A, Hwang A, Mo AX, Baqar S, Touchette N, Deal C, King D, Earle K, Giersing B, Dull P, Hall BF. Meeting Summary: Global Vaccine and Immunization Research Forum, 2021. Vaccine. 2023 Mar 10;41(11):1799-1807. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2023.02.028. Epub 2023 Feb 18. PMID: 36803897; PMCID: PMC9938725.



Young Leader Inspires and Engages Pfizer Canada Colleagues 

Drug Shortage Lessons Learned: How do we build a more resilient injectable medicines market in Canada?

Our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Performance

Advancing Diversity at Pfizer Canada

The importance of supporting a resilient life sciences eco-system in Canada

Pfizer Highlights Commitment to All Patients During Patients in Focus Week

“My Voice, Our Equal Future”

In My Words: Effie’s Life with Ulcerative Colitis

Unleashing the power of its people makes Pfizer a top employer

Hope and Optimism While Living With Ulcerative Colitis

Marking Rare Disease Day 2022: Why Every Minute Matters 

In Conversation with Barry Stein

In Conversation with Filomena Servidio-Italiano

A commitment to creating a culture of inclusivity at Pfizer Canada

Pfizer announces recipients of research grants focused on transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy in Canada 

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Industry is a Significant Contributor to the Economy

World Hemophilia Day: Robbie’s journey highlights the importance of raising awareness and finding community

Listening and Learning from Patients Living with Bladder Cancer

Pfizer Canada’s recommendations regarding the development of a National Strategy for Drugs for Rare Diseases

A Conversation with Najah Sampson

Living Well with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Vaccine And Immunization Facts

Understanding Biosimilars

Girls Belong Here at Pfizer Canada

Giving Back – Pfizer Canada’s Month of Giving 

Pfizer Colleagues Get Healthy with the VIVA Health & Wellness program

Carpe Diem: Rise in Remote Connecting a Boon for those Living with RA

Imagine RA Network: Chronic Illness in a Pandemic Life

CDHF and Pfizer: The power of collaboration in the ulcerative colitis space

Reflecting on Rare Disease Day 2021

A Day in the Life with Atopic Dermatitis by Pfizer Colleague Kerri
About UsOur ProductsHelping Communities Our Voice Suppliers Distribution ChannelPfizer WorldwideMedia CentreTerms Of Use Careers Healthcare ProfessionalsContact UsPrivacy PolicyCopyright © Pfizer Canada 2022 All rights reserved. The information is intended only for residents of Canada. ® Pfizer Inc, used under license