CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Healthcare Infection   
Healthcare Infection
  Official Journal of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control
blank image Search
blank image blank image
blank image
  Advanced Search

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Structure
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Submit Article
Author Instructions
For Referees
Referee Guidelines
Review an Article
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates
For Advertisers

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with HI
blank image

red arrow Connect with CP
blank image
facebook twitter LinkedIn

red arrow COPE Member
blank image
This journal is a member of, and subscribes to the principles of, the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) CopeLogo


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 17(4)

Centrelink: an innovative urban intervention for improving adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access to vaccination

Rosie Thomsen A, Wendy Smyth B, Anne Gardner C D and Jennifer Ketchell A

A Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program, Townsville Community Health Services, Townsville Hospital and Health Services, PO Box 1596, Kirwan, Qld 4817, Australia.
B Tropical Health Research Unit for Nursing and Midwifery Practice, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, PO Box 670, Townsville, Qld 4810, Australia.
C School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Australian Catholic University, PO Box 256, Dickson, ACT 2602, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: anne.gardner@acu.edu.au

Healthcare Infection 17(4) 136-141 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/HI12035
Submitted: 23 August 2012  Accepted: 5 November 2012   Published: 28 November 2012

PDF (1.5 MB) $25
 Export Citation

Objective: To report the effectiveness of a targeted vaccine intervention conducted using opportunistic, non-traditional clinic settings to extend coverage to urban adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Methods: A retrospective clinical audit of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease and Influenza vaccine coverage during 2004–2009, with case study comparison of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients vaccinated at five clinic settings in 2008.

Results: From 2005, when Centrelink was first included as a vaccination clinic site, until 2009, attendance there more than doubled (159 to 441), with a 3-fold increase in vaccines administered (204 to 667). An increasing proportion of clients have been vaccinated each year at the Centrelink site, compared with decreasing average attendance in all other opportunistic sites.

Discussion: Centrelink was an effective opportunistic site for vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in an urban catchment area, in particular successfully targeting younger adults. The strategy was later replicated when administering H1N1 vaccines.

Implications: This innovative strategy is potentially transferable to a wide range of public health inventions urgently needed to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other hard-to-reach potentially disadvantaged groups.


[1]  Council of Australian Governments. National Partnership Agreement on Essential Vaccines: Commonwealth, State & Territory Agreement per the National Immunisation Program. Canberra: COAG; 2009.

[2]  Menzies R, Turnour C, Chiu C, McIntyre P. Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Australia, 2003 to 2006. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia: Department of Health and Ageing; 2008.

[3]  Bryant W, Ompad D, Sisco S, Blaney S, Glidden K, Phillips E, et al Determinants of influenza vaccination in hard-to-reach urban populations. Prev Med 2006; 43: 60–70.
CrossRef | CAS |

[4]  Ompad D, Galea S, Vlahov D. Distribution of influenza vaccine to high-risk groups. Epidemiol Rev 2006; 28: 54–70.
CrossRef |

[5]  Coady M, Galea S, Blaney S, Ompad D, Sisco S, Vlahov D. Project VIVA: a multilevel community-based intervention to increase influenza vaccination rates among hard-to-reach populations in New York City. Am J Public Health 2008; 98: 1314–21.
CrossRef |

[6]  Wright N, Tompkins C. How can health services effectively meet the needs of homeless people? Br J Gen Pract 2006; 56: 286–93.

[7]  McIntyre P, Menzies R. Immunisation: Reducing health inequality for Indigenous Australians. Med J Aust 2005; 182: 207–8.

[8]  National Health and Medical Research Council. Part 2: Vaccination for special risk groups. In: The Australian Immunisation Handbook. 9th ed. Canberra: NHMRC; 2008: pp. 70–4.

[9]  Barry C, Krause V, Cook H, Menzies R. Invasive pneumococcal disease in Australia 2007 and 2008. Commun Dis Intell 2012; 36: E151–65.

[10]  Hanna J, Young D, Brookes D, Dostie B, Murphy D. The initial coverage and impact of the pneumococcal and influenza vaccination program for at-risk indigenous adults in Far North Queensland. Aust N Z J Public Health 2001; 25: 543–6.
CrossRef | CAS |

[11]  Mak DB. Invasive pneumococcal disease in the Kimberley, 1995–2001. Aust J Rural Health 2004; 12: 237–40.
CrossRef |

[12]  Peiris D, Brown A, Cass A. Addressing inequities in access to quality health care for indigenous people. CMAJ 2008; 179: 985–6.
CrossRef |

[13]  Hanna J, Donohue S. Influenza vaccination for Indigenous adults, Northern Area Health Service, 2007. Communicable Disease Control, Tropical Public Health Unit Network; 2007.

[14]  Menzies R, McIntyre P. Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination policy for indigenous populations. Epidemiol Rev 2006; 28: 71–80.
CrossRef |

[15]  Hanna J, Morgan A, McCulloch B. Uptake of influenza vaccine among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island adults in north Queensland, 2003. Commun Dis Intell 2004; 28: 80–2.

[16]  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adult immunization programs in nontraditional settings: Quality standards and guidance for program evaluation. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000; 49: 1–13.

[17]  Menzies R, Singleton R. Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Vaccination Policy for Indigenous Populations. Pediatr Clin North Am 2009; 56: 1263–83.
CrossRef |

[18]  Thomas P, Joseph T, Menzies R. Evaluation of a targeted immunisation program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants in an urban setting. N S W Public Health Bull 2008; 19: 96–9.
CrossRef |

[19]  Dugdale A. Where do Queensland’s Indigenous people live? Med J Aust 2008; 188: 614.

[20]  Office of Economic and Statistical Research. Estimated resident population by local government area, Queensland, 1998 to 2008. Brisbane: Queensland Government; 2009.

[21]  Australian Government. Centrelink. Canberra: Australian Government; 2011. Available from: http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/about_us/index.htm#about [verified 15 June 2011].

[22]  Vlahov D, Coady M, Ompad D, Galea S. Strategies for improving Influenza immunization rates among Hard-to-Reach Populations. Journal of Urban Health. Bull N Y Acad Med 2007; 84: 615–31.

[23]  Goldsbury L. Injecting life into immunisation. Aust J Pharm 2004; 85: 415–20.

Subscriber Login

Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help


© CSIRO 1996-2015