Over 65? This is your ‘wake-up call’: get your free pneumonia vaccine

This year 2,000 people aged over 65 will die from the preventable infection according to Lung Foundation Australia. Another 8,000 will be hospitalised while a further 15,000 people have to see their doctor.  

Despite this, pneumococcal vaccination coverage for over-65’s has dropped this year to just 47 per cent in NSW – half of these vaccinations took place after the age of 70. 

Many of us would be alarmed if our grandchildren weren’t up to date with their vaccines – so why not ourselves? 

Even if you’re in good health, our immune systems decline as we get older and we become more vulnerable to infections that we previously would have been resilient against so it’s worth protecting yourself. 

The Foundation is calling for anyone who smokes, has a chronic disease, immune condition, or is over 65 years to talk to their GP about whether they should have a pneumococcal vaccination, or a re-vaccination against the infection. 

It’s free for over-65’s under the Government’s National Immunisation Program. A second dose is also available to people with immune conditions, chronic diseases or history of smoking five years after their first dose. 

Find out more about pneumonia here

This week is Pneumonia Awareness Week. 

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.