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Hum Vaccin. 2008 Sep-Oct;4(5):341-3. Epub 2008 Sep 15.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination in Australia: an examination of barriers and arguments in support of the hospital based approach.

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  • 1The University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.


Pneumococcal disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, arguably responsible worldwide for more deaths than any other single pathogen. Despite the severe impact of pneumococcal disease and the availability of a safe, efficacious and cost-effective vaccine, vaccination rates have generally remained far below targets. Since 2005 a publicly funded program offering free pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for at-risk patients has been implemented in Australia, and early data suggest that this change has had a major positive impact on pneumococcal vaccination rates. However, rates still remain far below the ideal. A literature review identified physician related factors as the major impediment to raising vaccination rates and the use of hospital based vaccination strategies as a potentially useful response.

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