HealthStats NSW

Influenza and pneumococcal disease immunisation

Males, Influenza, 2015
69.9Males, Influenza, 2014
72.4Males, Influenza, 2013
70Males, Influenza, 2012
65.7Males, Influenza, 2011
71.6Males, Influenza, 2010
71.8Males, Influenza, 2009
69.4Males, Influenza, 2008
69.7Males, Influenza, 2007
69.9Males, Influenza, 2006
72.7Males, Influenza, 2005
74.3Males, Influenza, 2004
75.3Males, Influenza, 2003
76.4Males, Influenza, 2002
75.3Males, Pneumococcal, 2015
42.9Males, Pneumococcal, 2014
44.4Males, Pneumococcal, 2013
47Males, Pneumococcal, 2012
56Males, Pneumococcal, 2011
60.4Males, Pneumococcal, 2010
55.5Males, Pneumococcal, 2009
58.4Males, Pneumococcal, 2008
58.5Males, Pneumococcal, 2007
58.7Males, Pneumococcal, 2006
62.5Males, Pneumococcal, 2005
50.6Males, Pneumococcal, 2004
45.1Males, Pneumococcal, 2003
45.7Males, Pneumococcal, 2002
38.1Females, Influenza, 2015
72.5Females, Influenza, 2014
72.5Females, Influenza, 2013
71.9Females, Influenza, 2012
70.6Females, Influenza, 2011
73.2Females, Influenza, 2010
73.2Females, Influenza, 2009
73.1Females, Influenza, 2008
72.6Females, Influenza, 2007
74Females, Influenza, 2006
76Females, Influenza, 2005
74.3Females, Influenza, 2004
76.3Females, Influenza, 2003
75.4Females, Influenza, 2002
75.4Females, Pneumococcal, 2015
51.2Females, Pneumococcal, 2014
50.9Females, Pneumococcal, 2013
58.7Females, Pneumococcal, 2012
61Females, Pneumococcal, 2011
65.4Females, Pneumococcal, 2010
60.8Females, Pneumococcal, 2009
61.1Females, Pneumococcal, 2008
63.6Females, Pneumococcal, 2007
61.6Females, Pneumococcal, 2006
63.5Females, Pneumococcal, 2005
57.7Females, Pneumococcal, 2004
50.7Females, Pneumococcal, 2003
48.8Females, Pneumococcal, 2002
42.2Persons, Influenza, 2015
71.3Persons, Influenza, 2014
72.5Persons, Influenza, 2013
71Persons, Influenza, 2012
68.4Persons, Influenza, 2011
72.4Persons, Influenza, 2010
72.6Persons, Influenza, 2009
71.4Persons, Influenza, 2008
71.3Persons, Influenza, 2007
72.1Persons, Influenza, 2006
74.5Persons, Influenza, 2005
74.3Persons, Influenza, 2004
75.9Persons, Influenza, 2003
75.8Persons, Influenza, 2002
75.4Persons, Pneumococcal, 2015
47.3Persons, Pneumococcal, 2014
47.9Persons, Pneumococcal, 2013
53.3Persons, Pneumococcal, 2012
58.8Persons, Pneumococcal, 2011
63.2Persons, Pneumococcal, 2010
58.4Persons, Pneumococcal, 2009
59.9Persons, Pneumococcal, 2008
61.3Persons, Pneumococcal, 2007
60.3Persons, Pneumococcal, 2006
63Persons, Pneumococcal, 2005
54.5Persons, Pneumococcal, 2004
48.2Persons, Pneumococcal, 2003
47.4Persons, Pneumococcal, 2002
  • + Source

    NSW Population Health Survey (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    The indicator shows self-reported data collected through Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Estimates were weighted to adjust for differences in the probability of selection among respondents and were benchmarked to the estimated residential population using the latest available Australian Bureau of Statistics mid-year population estimates. Adults are defined as persons aged 16 years and over in the NSW Population Health Survey.

    In order to address diminishing coverage of the population by landline telephone numbers (<85% since 2010), a mobile phone number sampling frame was introduced into the 2012 survey.

    * Pneumococcal vaccination data are based on Aboriginal adults aged 50-64 years, and all adults aged 65 years and over. Data for adults aged 50-64 years are not presented by age, but are included in the 'All ages' totals.

     LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

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    • Key points: Influenza and pneumonia


      Influenza and pneumonia are a group of acute respiratory infections that can be very severe and, in persons at high risk, lead to death. They are usually presented together as influenza can lead to pneumonia and, in most cases of hospitalisation and death from pneumonia, the responsible organism is not identified. Each year, 75-85 % of all hospitalisations for influenza and pneumonia are due to 'unspecified pneumonia'.

      Severe virus-related complications of influenza require hospitalisation and threaten life most frequently in the very young and elderly (children under 1 year old and persons over 65) and among persons with chronic heart or, especially, lung conditions. Appropriate antibacterial therapy decreases the mortality rate from secondary bacterial pneumonia.

      Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for any person aged ≥6 months who wants to protect themselves from influenza and is strongly recommended for groups at higher risk of disease.

      There were 30,885 hospitalisations due to influenza and pneumonia in 2015-16 (349.9 per 100,000 population), of which 17,586 were patients aged 65 years and older (1402.5 per 100,000 population in that age group).


      There were 885 deaths from influenza and pneumonia in 2015 (8.3 deaths per 100,000 population) and just over 92% of these were in persons aged 65 years and over (59.8 deaths per 100,000 population in that age group). Death rates from influenza or pneumonia are very low in all other age groups. The death rate in 2009 was the lowest since 1993 for all ages and for people aged 65 years and older. Rates have stabilised at a slightly higher level since this time. 

    • Introduction: Respiratory disease

      Respiratory diseases

      Respiratory diseases include acute diseases such as influenza and pneumonia, and chronic respiratory diseases (specifically asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestosis, and respiratory tuberculosis), where preventive measures and better management of conditions can reduce the burden of disease and reduce associated healthcare costs.

      Chronic respiratory diseases were responsible for 8.3% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia in 2011, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma accounting for 43% and 29% of this burden, respectively (AIHW 2016).

      Influenza and pneumonia

      Influenza and pneumonia are acute respiratory diseases that can be very severe and, in persons at high risk, can lead to death. Influenza and pneumonia cause around 1.8% of all deaths and around 0.9% of hospital separations and are an important cause of hospitalisations in the very young, and of death and hospitalisations among older age groups.


      Asthma is a significant public health problem in Australia and it is estimated that Australian prevalence rates are among the highest in the world. Fortunately, recent studies in children show no further increase in prevalence. In Australia in 2011, asthma was estimated to account for 2.4% of the disease burden (AIHW 2016).

      Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

      Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main conditions comprising chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In Australia in 2011, COPD was estimated to account for 3.6% of the disease burden (AIHW 2016).


      Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacterial organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Despite the increasing burden from respiratory tuberculosis globally, it is not a major public health problem in NSW. In fact the mortality and morbidity from all types of tuberculosis in NSW is one of the lowest in the world.

      Lung cancer

      Lung cancer is usually excluded from analyses of respiratory diseases as it is classified with cancers in the International Classification of Diseases (the coding system used for health data in NSW). It has been included with respiratory diseases here to provide a more appropriate measure of the burden of respiratory disease from a clinical and health services planning perspective.

      Risk factors

      Cigarette smoking is the main risk factor for both COPD and lung cancer and the current incidence rates of these conditions reflect smoking rates 20 years and more in the past. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Australia.


      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2011. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 3. BOD 4. Canberra: AIHW. Available at:

    • Interventions: Respiratory diseases


      Written asthma management plans are recommended as part of the national guidelines for the management of asthma: Australian Asthma Handbook (NACA 2015). They enable people with asthma to recognise a deterioration in their condition and initiate appropriate treatment, thereby reducing the severity of acute episodes.

      The Australian Asthma Handbook promotes preventive care activities, proper inhaler technique and adherence and stepped medical management where the use of medicines can be increased or decreased depending on circumstances and the therapy combinations.


      The NSW Tuberculosis Program is successful as the incidence of tuberculosis in NSW has remained stable over the last decade despite large-scale migration from high-prevalence countries and the treatment success rates have been high, with the absence of treatment failures and low rates of relapse of cases initially treated in Australia.

      The main challenges to the NSW Tuberculosis Program are similar to those that face tuberculosis control globally. They include control of multi-drug resistant and extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis and identification and management of tuberculosis-HIV coinfection (O'Connor et al. 2009).

      Influenza and pneumonia

      Influenza and pneumococcal disease are covered by the National Immunisation Programs in NSW.

      Influenza has been a notifiable disease by all laboratories under the Public Health Act in NSW since 2001. Surveillance is enhanced in winter months when the NSW Ministry of Health collects and reports weekly on influenza-like illness presentations to Emergency Departments, through the Public Health Rapid, Emergency, Disease and Syndromic Surveillance System (PHREDSS), and laboratory-confirmed diagnoses of influenza virus infections.

      Emergency Departments in NSW are prepared for influenza epidemics with peak visit plans and similar measures in winter months.


      National Asthma Council Australia. Australian Asthma Handbook. NACA, 2015. Available at:

      O'Connor B, Fritsche L, Christensen A, McAnulty J. EpiReview: Tuberculosis in New South Wales, 2003-2007. NSW Public Health Bulletin, 2009. Available at:

    • For more information: Respiratory diseases

      Useful websites

      Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring (ACAM) at

      National Asthma Council Australia at

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 20 June 2017