Prepare to be shocked – after three years of COVID-19, Australians, especially older Australians, still rate infectious diseases highly among their health priorities.

A survey by Pfizer of 1075 Australians has found that 44% considered infectious disease prevention a personal health priority, just under taking care of general health at 61% and “living healthier” at 47%; additionally, 66% thought infectious diseases like COVID were among the most important health topics covered by the media last year.

Notably, older Australians – the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation – view infectious disease prevention as being more important than the average Australian does, at 59% and 74% respectively.

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 Krishan Thiru, Pfizer Australia & New Zealand Medical Director.

“It is so important for people to prioritise their health and know what tools they have to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

Get the right information

A couple words of warning, though: the survey also found that 39% of Australians don’t think it’s important to keep up to date with their vaccination schedule, leaving them open to preventable infections, and more than 40% still rely on Internet search engines to source personal health information – or worse, social media, where misinformation can run rampant.

“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 has recently launched an information hub where Dr Thiru offers “credible, evidence-based information” on a range of personal health topics – find it here.