Australian Immunisation Register
The AIR was extended to all age groups from November 2016, replacing the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.12 The AIR can record vaccinations given through general practice and community clinics, including vaccines funded under the NIP and privately funded vaccinations. It provides an opportunity to record vaccinations of older people and to make this information available to other GPs and healthcare practitioners, for example if the patient moves to a new general practice.
The data could also be used, when sufficiently complete and reliable, to identify and target regions achieving lower vaccination rates, and to identify high vaccination regions that can be further interrogated to demonstrate best practices.
Despite official recommendations on vaccination in older people and inclusion of many vaccines on the NIP, coverage levels in older adults are well below those in children. Strategies that might increase uptake of recommended vaccines among older people include government actions, such as listing all recommended vaccines on the NIP and improving national surveillance of vaccination coverage levels and disease rates in the older population to inform funding discussions. However, GPs also have the opportunity to help increase vaccination rates among their older patients. Suggested strategies include informing their older patients about the risks and potential severity of vaccine-preventable diseases and the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, co-administration of vaccines where this is safe, and adopting systematic practice strategies to support opportunistic vaccination and patient notification and recall systems. MT
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10. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Putting prevention into practice. Guidelines for the implementation of prevention in the general practice setting. Melbourne: RACGP; 2018.
11. Thomas RE, Lorenzetti DL. Interventions to increase influenza vaccination rates of those 60 years and older in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014; (7): CD005188.
COMPETING INTERESTS: Professor Woodward has received funds for sitting on advisory boards and participating in educational events, for Seqirus, Sanofi, MSD and GlaxoSmithKline. Associate Professor Litt has received funds for sitting on advisory boards for Seqirus and GlaxoSmithKline and speaker’s fees from Seqirus when providing educational updates on zoster vaccination for a range of healthcare providers. Professor Van Buynder has conducted clinical research on vaccine effectiveness of adjuvanted vaccines via an unrestricted grant from Novartis. He has also received support for research, education and marketing, travel and/or advisory board activities from Seqirus, Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Pfizer and Novartis.