New campaign targets vaccination for older people

Low rates of vaccination for adults aged 65 years and over has prompted a new campaign from Brisbane North PHN, which calls on general practices to keep track of all adult immunisations—not just the flu vaccination .

The Australian Immunisation Register shows the largest unvaccinated group of people are adults 65 years and over.

In addition to low rates of vaccinations for this population group, adult immunisations are under reported to the register, affecting the ability to monitor coverage levels and identify regions at risk during disease outbreaks.

The campaign is a reminder that vaccination is an important part of healthy ageing. For older at-risk populations, vaccines can do more than stop infections—they also prevent and lessen the impact of severe consequences that may arise from infections.

The campaign resources prompt health professionals to check in with older patients and start the immunisation conversation; ensuring older adults are vaccinated for influenza, pneumococcal, dTpa and varicella zoster.

Campaign resources include a poster with dose and administration information, which can be hung in the treatment room for easy reference as well as a factsheet detailing how immunisation providers can report adult vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register.

These resources will be distributed to general practices from April 2019 via your Primary Care Liaison Officers. Visit the Australian Immunisations Handbook website for additional recommendations about vaccines for older adults.