New publication!

A new journal article, led by Dr Maria Christou-Ergos, has just been published in BMC Geriatrics.

Christou-Ergos M, Leask J, Wiley KE, (2024) The experience of traumatic events, psychological distress, and social support: links to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and trends with age in a group of older Australians, BMC Geriatrics, 24, 302.

The abstract is below. Click here to see the full article.


Vaccination is important to reduce disease-associated morbidity and mortality in an ageing global population. While older adults are more likely than younger adults to accept vaccines, some remain hesitant. We sought to understand how traumatic events, psychological distress and social support contribute to older adults’ intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and whether these experiences change with age.


We analysed survey data collected as part of the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study in a population of Australian adults aged 60 years and over. Data were derived from the COVID Insights study; a series of supplementary surveys about how participants experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.


Higher intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine was associated with greater social support (adjusted odds ratio (aOR):1.08; 95%CI:1.06–1.11; p <.001) while lower intention was associated with personally experiencing a serious illness, injury or assault in the last 12 months (aOR:0.79; 95% CI:0.64–0.98; p =.03). Social support and the experience of traumatic events increased significantly with age, while psychological distress decreased.


There may be factors beyond disease-associated risks that play a role in vaccine acceptance with age. Older Australians on the younger end of the age spectrum may have specific needs to address their hesitancy that may be overlooked.

Yellow and orange fireworks

Congratulations to Maria and Belle!

Excited Schitts Creek GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY


Recently our SABII co-leads, Professor Julie Leask and Dr Kerrie Wiley, took part in a series of researcher videos with Sydney ID – the Sydney Infectious Disease Institute.

This is Julie’s video about vaccine uptake research:

This is Kerrie’s video about her research into how people think and feel about vaccinating humans and animals:

Take a look at the other researcher videos here to find out about the amazing work Sydney ID researchers are doing.

Conference season!

A large chunk of the SABII team were away over the last fortnight to attend conferences.

Julie headed to Bangkok to present at VARN2023 – the Vaccine Acceptance Research Network’s 2023 conference. Julie joined a plenary panel discussion titled “Challenges of Online & Offline Circulating Misinformation Relating to Zero-Dose Children and Vaccine Introduction“. The other panellists were Adidja Amani, from the WHO Regional Office for Africa; Ana Bottallo, journalist from Brazil; Farah Naz Qamar, Associate Professor from Pakistan; and Joe Smyser, CEO of The Public Good Projects.


Last week was the annual CDIC 2023 (Communicable Diseases and Immunisation Conference) in Perth, Western Australia.

Rebika, Adeline, Julie, Kerrie – at the CDIC in Perth.
Kerrie Wiley with 4th year vet student, Jessica Kropich-Grant, who presented collaborative work done by the School of Public Health and the Sydney Vet School.
Julie Leask, presenting at CDIC2023 about her study on journalists’ experiences of reporting the pandemic.