- Over 66% of Australian adults consider infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to be among the most important health-related topics covered in the news in 2022.
- Older Australians such as the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation are more interested in infectious disease prevention compared to younger generations.
- Three in five Australians (61%) believe it is important to be up to date with their immunisation schedule*. Concerningly, 39% do not, leaving people at risk of potential infections and diseases.
Sydney, Australia – 7 February 2023: A recent survey of 1075 Australians aged 18 years and over, released by Pfizer today provides a snapshot of common attitudes and behaviours of Australian adults around health and wellbeing, with 83% looking to improve their understanding of health and wellbeing matters.
Australians who participated in the study stated that taking better care of their general health (61%), living healthier (47%) and infectious disease prevention (44%) were personal health priorities. Among millennials, taking care of the health of family and loved ones was also a high priority, with nearly half (45%) indicating this was important.
Two-thirds (66%) of Australian adults consider infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to be amongst the most important health-related topics covered in the news in 2022. Interestingly, older Australians (Baby Boomers and Silent Generation) are more concerned with infectious diseases prevention compared to Gen Z and millennials (Baby Boomers – 59%, Silent -74%, Gen Z – 31%, Millennials – 34%, Gen X – 39%).
Dr Krishan Thiru, Pfizer Australia & New Zealand Medical Director, said it is encouraging to see so many Australians recognising the importance of health and disease prevention, together with the role individuals can play in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
“Infectious diseases continue to be part of our lives. We see that COVID-19 is showing no signs of disappearing from our communities, and the recent spikes in meningococcal and other transmissible infections demonstrate the need to continuously improve our understanding of diseases to protect ourselves,” said Dr Thiru.
“It is so important for people to prioritise their health and know what tools they have to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
Australians also revealed their preferences when it comes to accessing health-related information. According to the research findings, the majority of Australians obtain health information from general practitioners (59%) and medical specialists (44%). However, more than 40% of Australians still rely on Internet search engines when seeking answers about their health.
There is also a notable difference in the way Australians living in capital cities and non-urban areas source health-related information. Those who live in non-urban areas are more likely to source health-related information from general practitioners (63% compared to 56%). Social media and mainstream media are additional sources of information, particularly for those living in urban areas.
“It can be tempting and so convenient to browse online to seek answers to health questions. But health decisions require the most up-to-date and accurate information, which is best obtained from reputable sources,” said Dr Thiru.
Pfizer Australia recently launched a dedicated health info hub, Talking Your Health, where people can find credible, evidence-based information on many health conditions, delivered by Dr Krishan Thiru himself.
“Talking Your Health” is a part of the organisation’s commitment to improving health and wellness by providing science-based health tips and connecting people to trusted resources that help people manage their health.
“This initiative is intended to arm the public with relevant, evidence-based health information, and to empower them to engage with their clinicians about their own medical situation,” said Dr Thiru.
Dr Thiru said the research findings also reinforce the importance of health education, especially at a time when Australians are becoming more proactive about their health.
“The findings show Australians are paying more attention to health discussions and want to make more informed health-decisions. The task now is to empower Australians with access to credible information that is easy to access and understand, and supports their health literacy needs,” Dr Thiru said.