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One in four aged older Aussies missing vaccines

Photo: One in four aged over 60 missing vaccines
More than a quarter of Australians aged in their 60s are putting themselves at risk by not having recommended vaccinations, health professionals say.

More than a quarter of older Australians are not having any of the vaccinations recommended for their age group.

Health professionals are urging people 60 and over to check their vaccination records after a new poll found 28 per cent of people aged 65-69 weren't up to date.

Only four per cent had been immunised against shingles and just a third for 33 per cent for pneumonia. However, 70 per cent had received an influenza jab.

The results contrast with 90 per cent vaccination rates for children.

Immunisation Coalition director Paul Van Buynder says Australians need to carry that diligent commitment into old age.
"Ageing makes us vulnerable to infections. When you skip vaccinations, you may leave yourself vulnerable to illnesses ... so it is concerning to see such low rates of immunisation for these conditions among the over-60s," he said.

Pneumonia and influenza account for more than 2800 deaths in Australia each year while the number of shingles cases has exploded by 50 per cent in recent years.

"Regardless of how healthy and fit you feel, if you are aged 60 and over, you are at increased risk of developing serious illnesses," Dr Van Buynder said.

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