Optimising flu vaccination among Aboriginal children in Victoria

Kimberley Ann Borg, Peter Bragge, Megan Beasley, Kim Sutton, Justin Halliday, Cameron Knott

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background - Influenza can cause significant health impacts, especially in infants and children. Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander children are especially susceptible and therefore, the influenza vaccine is offered free to this population. However, as the influenza vaccine is not in the mandatory immunisation schedule, influenza immunisation rates among Aboriginal infants and children are very poor at around 2%, leaving many children at risk. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has in previous years promoted the free influenza vaccination to General Practitioners, but not to Aboriginal families directly.
Objectives - The aim of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of a communication-based intervention targeting Aboriginal families in improving immunisation uptake in infants and children.
Method - Two communication materials were designed using a behavioural insights approach to written communication developed by BehaviourWorks Australia. The materials were developed in consultation with members of the Victorian Aboriginal community. The participant sample was parents of Victorian children aged between 6 months and 5 years who were identified as Aboriginal in the Australian Immunisation Registry. In-scope households (N=5,543) were randomly allocated to one of three groups: 1. ‘Letter’ (sent a text-based letter), 2. ‘Pamphlet’ (sent a culturally appropriate pamphlet), or 3. ‘Control’ (not sent any communication).
Results - This presentation will reflect on the effectiveness of direct communication with families of Aboriginal infants and children as a means of improving flu vaccination uptake. A specific focus will be the differential effect of a ‘standard’ letter compared to a pictorially-based pamphlet. Outcomes and insights from this trial will be of value to those interested in improving vaccination rates, maternal and child health, and applying behavioural insights to written communications among Aboriginal populations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2017
EventAnnual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation 2017: The Butterfly Effect: Translating Knowledge into Action for Positive Change - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 14 Nov 201715 Nov 2017
Conference number: 6th


ConferenceAnnual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation 2017
Internet address

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