New report: Adult vaccination - the shot in the arm Australia needs
Reforming Australia’s National Immunisation Program (NIP) to protect older Australians from disease has the potential to be the shot in the arm Australia’s health system needs, according to a new report released today.
The GSK Australia Report, “Risk to Resilience: A roadmap to vaccine access for older Australians”, was launched at Parliament House. The report demonstrated the value of increased Australian Government investment in innovative vaccines and better access through a redesigned NIP focused on older adults.
Data showed the greatest benefits would be felt by regional Australians, low socio-economic groups, and the people of South Australia and Tasmania.
Professor Robert Booy, Honorary Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney, says Australia could lead the way internationally by designing and funding an NIP reflective of the ageing population.
“The NIP has been providing funded vaccines to Australian babies and children for decades and has achieved remarkable results with diseases like polio, measles and rubella almost eliminated,’’ Professor Booy said.
“We know what works, let’s use the NIP to remove known barriers to vaccination for Australian adults like accessibility, affordability and awareness. Let’s ensure all Australians have access to the latest innovations that will keep them living well for longer and benefitting the community, health system and economy.”
Doctor Sarah Chu, an Australian GP with an interest in preventative health, says that ageing well shouldn’t be determined by where you live or your income.
“Preventive healthcare in Australia shouldn’t be seen as a luxury,” says Dr Chu.
“By improving vaccine access for Australian adults, we can bridge the gap between health and wealth and ensure a healthier future for all.”
GSK commissioned Clarivate Life Sciences and Health Care to conduct a detailed analysis, mapping federal electorate divisions by four factors that may make people more vulnerable to preventable disease and subsequent poorer health outcomes. Factors included age, income, education and co-morbidities.
Doctor Alan Paul, Country Medical Director at GSK Australia, says that identifying the electorates at greatest risk of preventable disease will help governments and the health sector focus their efforts where they will have the greatest impact.
“Our health system and economy face once-in-a-generation challenges, and policy makers are considering the reforms and investments needed to secure Australia’s future,’’ Dr Paul said.
“With our ageing population and the challenges of increasing productivity and preventing disease has never been more important.”
As well as identifying barriers to vaccination, the report calls for governments to partner with industry, technical experts, healthcare professionals and consumers to:
- Reform reimbursement systems and processes to recognise the value of vaccines and disease prevention. This includes: Pathways to support faster access to appropriate vaccines for Australians where there is a need and recognising the health outcomes and subsequent productivity gains that accrue over a lifetime.
- Prioritise adult vaccination in delivery of the NIP, drawing on the success of the childhood vaccination experience. This includes: New adult immunisation schedule, awareness and communications activities, boosting the accessibility of vaccinations, defined immunisation rate targets.
The full version of the report can be found here: Risk to Resilience: a roadmap to vaccine access for older Australians (PDF 2,191KB) (20 pages)
Localised information is available on request.
GSK acknowledges that like any medical intervention, vaccinations come with benefits and risks.
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- 2023. Risk to Resilience: a roadmap to vaccine access for older Australians. Available at: 2003219_gsk-vaccineaccessreport-web-version.pdf