Millions of Australian adults are unvaccinated and it’s increasing disease risk for all of us

Flu vaccination uptake rates are low in adults, including among those who work in health, aged care and childcare. from www.shutterstock.com C Raina MacIntyre, UNSW; Holly Seale, UNSW, and Rob Menzies, UNSW Public attention has recently focused on improving vaccination rates in Australian infants and children. But actually the largest unvaccinated group of people recommended for immunisation are adults. Of 4.1 million unvaccinated Australians, 92% (3.8 million) are adults, and only a small fraction are children. Improving adult vaccination rates will reduce their risk of illness and death, and lower transmission of infection in the community. Fewer adults than children are vaccinated The government provides free adult vaccines for influenza (flu), pneumococcal pneumonia and shingles for people over the aged of 65 years, and selected vaccines for those with underlying medical conditions, Indigenous people older than 15 years and pregnant women. However, our latest research…
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Invisible sexuality: older adults missing in sexual health research

Studies that deliberately exclude older adults from their samples render older adults’ sexuality invisible. shutterstock Sue Malta, University of Melbourne The Australian Study of Health and Relationships (ASHR), the latest findings of which were released recently, has much to commend it. Like its counterpart, the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL), it provides an illustration of sexual practices of today’s adults. Both studies share a surprising common finding: respondents in both countries are having sex less often than they did a decade ago. The two surveys also have another thing in common: both leave out a significant proportion of the population – older adults. The sample for the NATSAL is aged 18 to 44. The ASHR’s sample is aged 18 to 69 – and the first ASHR over a decade ago included only adults to age 59, ignoring those aged 60 and above. While there may be some justification for leaving out the fastest-growing segment of the popula…
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Episode – Choose Your Story: the inappropriate game your kids have probably played

The game’s players are able to customise their own storyline, which can then be ‘featured’ and shared with other players. The catch is, there’s more than 12 million creators - and the content isn’t exactly well-regulated. STEFANY LUNA DE LINZY / Shutterstock.com Janine M. Cooper, Murdoch Children's Research Institute As smartphone ownership surges, we’re seeing a drastic rise in the use of mobile apps, many of which are marketed towards impressionable young audiences. One such app is Episode – Choose Your Story, a free game with more than 50 million downloads and five million weekly users. Episode is coming under scrutiny by parents and users, many as young as 10, for its inappropriate themes. Such apps are far-reaching, and parenting their use can be tricky. According to a US report published this year, which surveyed 1,677 kids, 41% of tweens (aged 8-12) and 84% of teens (aged 13-18) owned a smartphone. There’s an increasing number of games targeted at these age groups,…
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