Healthcare Infection Healthcare Infection Society
Official Journal of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control
RESEARCH ARTICLE

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

Abstract

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.


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