Doctor's call to action against life-threatening disease

DESPITE the success of campaigns to boost flu shot rates, vaccination against pneumonia remains low, says Dr Richard Kidd.

"Pneumonia is a life-threatening disease, it is in the top 15 causes of death in Australia," the Council of General Practitioners Queensland chair said. "In 2015, over 3000 people died from either influenza or pneumonia." 

He said pneumonia could be highly contagious.

"The risk factors are diverse, from diabetes to being a smoker, anyone over the age of 65 years, as well as chronic lung disease are just some of the factors that make it easier to develop," he said.

Dr Kidd said the vaccine was very effective, with only two doses needed, five years apart, for lifetime protection.