Almost two-thirds of younger Australians most at risk of contracting pneumonia are not getting vaccinated against the life-threatening infection.
New research involving 2500 patients across Australia has revealed lowest vaccination numbers were from people aged under 65 who were already at increased risk of developing the deadly pneumococcal pneumonia.
Smokers or people with diabetes or chronic heart or lung disease were at greater risk than the rest of the community, regardless of age.
University of WA clinical professor David Smith said the research showed while the over-65s were also at high risk, that age group tended to get vaccinated.
The study showed 78 per cent of people aged 65 and older had received a pneumococcal vaccination.Pneumonia-like illness killed more than 2300 people in Australia every year and vaccination was key to avoiding infection, Professor Smith said.
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