This topic refers to the immunisation status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over against influenza and pneumococcal disease.
Influenza and its complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 15 years and over (The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th ed).
Pneumococcal disease is a major cause of death and morbidity, being linked with meningitis, pneumonia and other upper respiratory tract infections such as otitis media and sinusitis. In the Northern Territory, vaccinations are provided to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents at approximately 15 years of age. According to The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th ed, the number of recommended vaccines depends on age, indigenous status and the presence of a condition(s) associated with an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).
Information was collected for persons aged 15 years and over in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS).
Persons aged 15 years and over were asked whether they had ever been given a flu injection/flu needle/shot, and if so, whether they had been given a needle/shot in the last 12 months.
Respondents were then asked whether they had ever been given a pneumonia injection/needle/shot, and if so, whether they had been given that injection/needle/shot in the last 5 years.
The data items and related output categories for this topic will be available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.
Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic:
Comparability with 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)
- The 12 month recall period may have posed problems for those who have irregular influenza vaccinations.
- The five year recall period used for pneumococcus vaccinations, while appropriate to the recommended frequency of vaccination, may have posed difficulties for some respondents.
Data for common items are considered directly comparable between the 2004-05 NATSIHS and 2012-13 NATSIHS. However, some immunisation items that appeared in the 2004-05 NATSIHS do not appear in the 2012-13 NATSIHS. These items were 'Whether influenza vaccination obtained by prescription' and 'Whether influenza vaccination free'. Furthermore, in 2012-13 only adult data were collected. Notwithstanding, the (adult) immunisation data in both surveys are comparable (as are the population characteristics).
Comparability with 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)
Immunisation information was not collected in the 2008 NATSISS.
Comparability with the 2011-12 National Health Survey (NHS)
Immunisation information was not collected in the 2011-12 NHS.