NDP: Ford’s Conservatives denying vaccines to Ontario’s seniors

Today, Official Opposition NDP Seniors Critic, Lise Vaugeois (Thunder Bay—Superior North) called on Ford’s Conservatives to end discriminatory practices that deny OHIP coverage to individuals over 60 who need access to the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine, and to end the denial of coverage for the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) for anyone over 70 years old.

“My mother, who turns 96 today, and had not been offered a vaccine, suffered from a severe case of shingles a year ago, and the pain persists to this day,” stated Vaugeois. “Seniors in Thunder Bay can’t afford the Shingrix vaccine. OHIP only covers seniors between 65 and 70 for the vaccine, but anyone older than seventy must pay $300 or more to get the vaccine. And despite representing more than 80% of RSV-related deaths, only those 60 and over in long-term care facilities, and some retirement homes, are covered by OHIP for the RSV vaccine.

“Seniors in Thunder Bay-Superior North and the neighbouring riding of Thunder Bay-Atikokan are telling me they can’t afford the RSV vaccine, leaving them without vital protection. It’s a calculated restriction by the Ministry of Health that puts older adults at unnecessary risk.

“What kind of world are we living in where age determines the value of someone’s health? Ford’s Conservatives are sending a clear message: if you’re over 70, or you live in your own home, your health is a luxury you must pay for.”

Ontario NDP