Older Australians need pneumococcal vax reminder

A survey conducted by the Lung Foundation Australia of more than 700 seniors aged 65–74 has revealed that almost two in three seniors are not taking up the vaccine. Despite 74% being vaccinated against the flu, only 39% had reported being vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia while 94% did not recognise that age alone was a risk factor for pneumonia. 

Professor Robert Booy, Head of Clinical Research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is concerned that, while the message about influenza vaccine is clearly resonating among older Australians, the message about pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination is not.

“It’s concerning that even among those aged 65 and over with additional risk factors, such as diabetes, chronic lung, heart or kidney disease, impaired immunity or being a smoker, the Lung Foundation research shows only 13% of this age group recognise they are at high risk of contracting pneumococcal