Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice

The Red Book
5.1 Immunisation
☰ Table of contents

Age range chart

0-9 10-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65-69 70-79 > 80


Influenza immunisation is recommended for adults aged >65 years, according to the Australian immunisation handbook which is regularly updated and available here. However, the benefits are modest, with a number needed to treat of 71 people in the general population for influenza vaccination to prevent a single episode of influenza in older age.25

Table 5.1 Immunisation: preventive interventions in older age



Vaccination: Influenza

Annual influenza vaccination in the pre-flu season months (III,C).26

Vaccination: Pneumococcal

23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) is recommended for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease (II,B).27 
Vaccination should be done opportunistically. One dose is currently recommended except for those who have a condition that predisposes them to an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease.  See here

Vaccination: Herpes zoster 28

A single dose of zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and over (II,B)28 

See also Section 6.1: Immunisation.

23vPPV, 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine


  1. Scott IA, Hilmer SN, Reeve E, et al. Reducing inappropriate polypharmacy: The process of deprescribing. JAMA Intern Med 2015;175(5):827–34. 
  2. Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Rivetti A, Bawazeer GA, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014;3:CD001269.
  3. Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Thorning S, Thomas RE. Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010;7:CD004876. 
  4. Moberley S, Holden J, Tatham DP, Andrews RM. Vaccines for preventing pneumococcal infection in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008;1:CD000422.