In Australia, the pneumococcal vaccination is free for all adults over the age of 65 and Indigenous individuals aged 15–65, and it is subsidized for non-Indigenous persons over the age of 65 who have risk factors. The purpose of this study was to investigate pneumococcal vaccine uptake in older patients attending 550 Australian general offices based on patient sociodemographics, comorbidities, and practice characteristics. Study 1: To determine yearly pneumococcal vaccine uptake, a cross-sectional examination of ‘active’ patients aged 65 years was done each year. Study 2: The number of patients immunized during the study period was determined by analyzing a cohort of 58,589 ‘every year’ patients aged 60–65 years. Annual pneumococcal vaccination uptake varied by patient age, presence of comorbidities, and frequency of practice visits, and it fell gradually across all categories from 2011 to 2016. Cohort studies revealed that 69 percent of people aged 60–65 years in 2010 had a documented pneumococcal vaccine by 2017, with immunization being more common among those with comorbidities, ex-smokers, and regular practice attendees.
The findings show that the NPS MedicineInsight database gives estimates of vaccine uptake that are consistent with previous surveys, repeatable year after year, and inexpensive in cost. When compared to the Australian Immunization Register, it has more clinical information. While vaccine uptake among ‘every year’ patients was sufficient, actions are required to increase pneumococcal immunization for all older Australians.