"Pillars of Strength" photo exhibit opens to celebrate National Seniors Day with compelling images of Canadian Seniors
  • National Seniors Day event celebrates seniors and raises awareness of the burden of flu in seniors and the domino effect it has on their lives.
  • The flu has a significant impact that can put seniors at risk of losing their independence. A hospital stay from the flu can wreak havoc on the lives of seniors and those around them.  

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2019 /CNW/ - Today, a larger-than-life interactive photo exhibit opens to the public in celebration of National Seniors Day. Hosted by Sanofi, the event raises awareness of the burden of flu in seniors, the domino effect it has on their lives, and the importance of protecting them and keeping them active, healthy and independent.

The flu, often seen as just a cold, is estimated to be responsible for an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually in Canada,1 with seniors accounting for up to 70 percent of hospitalizations and up to 91 percent of deaths in 2013-2018.2,3,4,5,6,7

Unfortunately, these numbers do not tell the full story. For those hospitalized, as many as one-third leave with a reduced ability to carry out their daily activities.8 Prolonged stays in the hospital for a senior can lead to a 'cascade of dependency' where immobility leads to poor results that, in some cases, require rehabilitative care or a move to long-term care.9

To celebrate seniors and their contributions to our families and communities, Sanofi's domino-inspired photo exhibit "Pillars of Strength" features compelling images of seniors from across the country, and will open to the public starting October 1 through to October 4 at the Richmond-Adelaide Centre, in downtown Toronto. For every photo of a senior submitted, Sanofi is donating $2 to Wish of a Lifetime Canada, a charity that helps seniors fulfill lifelong dreams. The goal is to raise at least $12,200 (up to a maximum of $24,400), representing the 12,200 hospitalizations due to the flu in Canada each year.

Adults 65 and older generally have lower responses to infections, greater susceptibility to the flu,10 and are at high risk for complications or hospitalization if they get the flu.11 Yet, flu vaccines are generally less effective among adults 65 and older compared to younger adults.12

"Seniors are cherished members of our communities, contributing to our lives in countless ways," says Marissa Lennox, Chief Policy Officer at Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP). "The flu can rob older adults of their health and independence, changing their lives irrevocably. In fact, a CARP survey shows that seniors' biggest fear of aging is loss of independence. It is important for seniors to stay healthy, so they can stay in their homes and communities longer."

In its updated 2019-2020 influenza recommendations, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization concluded that the high-dose flu vaccine provides superior protection compared to the standard dose flu shot, and should be used, when available, in adults 65 years of age and older over the standard dose.11

"Flu has a domino effect on seniors, their communities and the health system, and it's crucial to protect seniors from the flu.13 Plus, many seniors are living with chronic conditions which puts them at a higher risk of death from the flu,"14 says Dr. John Muscedere, Scientific Director of Canadian Frailty Network (CFN). "The flu can worsen conditions, like diabetes or kidney disease, and increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.15 Vaccination can help reduce the severity of flu infections and prevent hospitalizations. CFN has just launched our AVOID Frailty campaign, and in it we recommend that adults aged 65+ should consider the higher dose vaccine, which is more effective for them than the standard dose vaccine."16

Fluzone® High-Dose in Canada
Currently, Ontario is the only province to offer the higher dose influenza vaccine free of charge to all adults 65 years of age and older.17 Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island offer the higher dose vaccine to those in long-term care facilities.18,19,20,21,22

About Fluzone® High-Dose Vaccine
Fluzone® High-Dose is a trivalent vaccine that contains four times the amount of hemagglutinin (HA) per strain as compared to a standard dose vaccine. Fluzone® High-Dose is indicated for active immunization against influenza caused by the specific strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine in adults 65 years of age and older. It is administered as a single 0.5 mL injection by the intramuscular route. Higher rates of some injection-site and systemic reactions were observed among recipients of the high-dose vaccine compared to standard dose vaccine, but most reactions were mild and resolved within three days.23,11

For more information about Fluzone® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine, please visit: http://www.fluzone.ca/.

About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.

With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into health care solutions around the globe.

Sanofi, Empowering Life


1 Schanzer, D.L., Sevenhuysen, C., Winchester, B., & Mersereau, T. (2013). Estimating influenza deaths in Canada, 1992-2009. PloS ONE, 8(11), e80481. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0080481.
2 Government of Canada. FluWatch. August 11-24, 2013. Retrieved from: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2013/aspc-phac/HP58-1-2013-34-eng.pdf
3 Government of Canada. FluWatch. August 10-23, 2014. Retrieved from: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2014/aspc-phac/HP58-1-2014-34-eng.pdf
4 Government of Canada. FluWatch. August 16-29, 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/images/services/publications/diseases-conditions/fluwatch-2014-2015/fluwatch-2014-2015-34-surveillance-influenza/alt/fluwatch-2014-2015-34-surveillance-influenza-eng.pdf
5 Government of Canada. FluWatch. August 14-27, 2016. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/canada/health-canada/documents/services/publications/diseases/fluwatch/2015-2016/fluwatch-2015-2016-33-34-surveillance-influenza-eng.pdf
6 Government of Canada. FluWatch. August 20-26, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/canada/public-health/services/publications/science-research-data/canadian-nosocomial-infection-summary/cnisp-aro-2011-2015%20report-final-en.pdf
7 Government of Canada. FluWatch. July 22 – August 25, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/publications/diseases-conditions/fluwatch/2017-2018/week30-34-july-22-august-25-2018/pub-eng.pdf
8 Covinsky, K.E., Palmer, R.M., Fortinsky, R.H., Counsell, S.R., Stewart, A.L., Kresevic, D., Burant, C.J., & Landefeld, C.S. (2003). Loss of independence in activities of daily living in older adults hospitalized with medical illnesses: Increased vulnerability with age. The American Geriatrics Society, 51, 451-458. doi: 10.1046/j.1532- 5415.2003.51152.x
9 Graf, C. (2006). Functional decline in hospitalized older adults. The American Journal of Nursing, 106(1), 58-67.
10 Monto A.S., Ansaldi, F., McElhaney, J.E., Montano, L.F., Nichol, K.L., Puig-Barbera, J.,Stephenson, I. (2009). Influenza control in the 21st century: Optimizing protection of older adults. Vaccine27, 5043-5053.
11 National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). (2018). An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS): Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2019-2020. Public Health Agency Of Canada. 
12 McElhaney, J.E., et al. (2016). T-Cell Immunity to Influenza in Older Adults: A Pathophysiological Framework for Development of More Effective Vaccines. Frontiers in Immunology, 7(41), 1-11.
13 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People 65 Years and Older & Influenza. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/65over.htm. Accessed 28 May. 2019.
14 Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Seniors and the Health Care System. Analysis. January 2011
15 Wang CS, et al. Impact of influenza vaccination on major cause-specific mortality. Vaccine. 2007;25(7):1196–1203
16 Becker et al. High-dose inactivated influenza vaccine is associated with cost savings and better outcomes compared to standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccine in Canadian seniors. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics. 2016, VOL. 12, NO. 12, 3036–3042.
17 Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2018). Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) for the 2018/2019 influenza season. Retrieved from http://health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/flu/uiip/ Accessed 25 May, 2019.
18 Government of Manitoba. Manitoba's 2018/19 Seasonal Influenza Immunization Program. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/cdc/div/manual/docs/msiipp.pdf Accessed 25 May, 2019.
19 Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. (2018). High-Dose Flu Vaccine Available in Long-Term Care Facilities. Retrieved from https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20180517001 Accessed 25 May, 2019.
20 Government of Saskatchewan. (2018). Saskatchewan Influenza Immunization Policy 2018 – 2019. Retrieved from  http://formulary.drugplan.health.gov.sk.ca/PDFs/Saskatchewan_Publicly_Funded_Influenza_Immunization_Policy_2018-19.pdf Accessed 25 May, 2019.
21 Government of North West Territories, Health and Social Services, Influenza / Flu. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/influenza-flu Accessed 25 May, 2019.
22 Prince Edward Island: Health and Wellness. Influenza Vaccine Orders 2018-2019
23 Product Monograph: FLUZONE® High-Dose Influenza Virus Vaccine Trivalent Types A and B (Split Virion). Sanofi Pasteur. Approved April 2019.

SOURCE Sanofi Canada

For further information: Media Relations Contact, Maggie Wang Maric, Tel.: 416-667-2955, Maggie.WangMaric@sanofi.com; Diana Robson, Tel.: 416-969-2815, drobson@getproof.com