Under the skin: Listening to the voices of older people on influenza immunisation

May 21, 2019 | REPORTS

Preventing ill-health and reducing the burden of disease is increasingly recognised as vital in the context of an ageing society, and influenza immunisation programmes are a key plank of preventative strategies in many countries across the world. Rates of influenza immunisation remain good among older adults, however, in recent years, they have begun to stagnate.

In this report, we explore the attitudes of older adults to influenza immunisation, a signficant gap in previous research. Through this research we found:

  • Attitudes are a significant factor in influencing rates of influenza vaccination among older adults.
  • Vaccine hesitancy among older adults in the case of seasonal flu vaccines – ultimately impacting coverage rates – is a different phenomenon to wider vaccine hesitancy in the general population; it is more specific and less related to broad concerns around trust in institutions.
  • Efforts to increase influenza vaccination coverage rates among the older population need to move beyond associating age with vulnerability and towards presenting immunisation as a positive and healthy lifestyle choice.


Author: Dan Holden With research by: Amna Riaz, Arunima Himawan and ComRes