Protecting children and older adults from invasive pneumococcal disease

Strategies to increase vaccination rates to reduce morbidity and mortality. A Professor Allan Cripps tribute.

Immunisation Coalition
Date: August 27, 2024: 18:30:00 - 19:30:00

This event aimed to highlight Prof Cripps’ key achievements and shed light on the advancements in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pneumococcal disease.

Our expert panel discussed pneumococcal disease, vaccine development, and the impact of vaccines on disease reduction in both adults and children. They also discussed the different serotypes and their effects across age groups, provided insights into invasive pneumococcal disease, immunisation recommendations, and compared polysaccharide and conjugated vaccine types.

The panel reviewed valent options and the future pneumococcal immunisation program for reducing disease burden. Additionally, strategies to increase immunisation rates among older adults and high-risk groups were covered.

Dr Anita Muñoz (Chair)

MBBS (Hons), FRACGP, Grad Cert Clin Teach, MPH, GAICD

Anita worked as a Clinical Editor and Clinical Advisor for 6 years with North Western Melbourne PHN through which a passion for health system improvement, innovation, sustainability, and equity emerged. She sees general practice as the key to a rational health system that produces better outcomes for patients and practitioners alike. Anita Muñoz is a GP in private practice in Melbourne’s CBD and has a dedication to evidence-based medicine, lifelong learning, and promoting the role of general practice in the health of patients, communities and in public health more broadly.

Anita has held advisory positions with Better Care Victoria and Safer Care Victoria and has been a medical educator for over 9 years. She is particularly preoccupied with the wellbeing and experience of general practice registrars, and of securing a high-quality general practice workforce for the future.


A/Prof Michael Woodward AM 

Associate Professor Michael Woodward is Head of Aged Care Research at Austin Health in Melbourne, Victoria. He is a specialist in geriatric medicine with a major interest in adult vaccination and also Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, wound management and the quality use of medications in older people. He is head of the Medical and Cognitive Research Unit that conducts trials into new vaccines and other new therapies for conditions such as dementia and influenza.

Associate Professor Woodward’s publication record includes over 130 peer-reviewed research and review articles. As chair of the Geriatric Therapeutics section of the editorial board of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research he oversaw nearly 20 years of publications on quality use of medications and health promotion activities in older people, including articles on vaccination.  He was also joint editor of Wound Practice and Research, the journal of the Australian Wound Management Association, of which he is a past President. He is a member of the editorial committee of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs MATES program, which improves prescribing and pharmaceutical care of DVA beneficiaries, including vaccination.

His work in geriatric medicine, dementia and other research and his extensive authorship has been honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia, awarded on Australia Day 2016.


Prof Paul van Buynder
Prof Paul Van Buynder is a Public Health Physician and past Chairman of the Immunisation Coalition. He is a professor in the School of Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland. He has held senior public health positions in a number of Australian states, in two Canadian jurisdictions and at the Centre for Infections in the UK. He has held personal appointments on sub-committees of National Immunisation Technical Advisory Committees in three continents. Paul is a reviewer of over 10 journals and has over 80 referred book chapters and articles.


Dr Phoebe Williams

Phoebe is a Consultant Paediatrician who completed her training in General Paediatrics at Sydney Children’s Hospital, as well as undertaking a second specialisation in Paediatric Infectious Diseases. Phoebe is an NHMRC Fellow at The University of Sydney, undertaking research focused on preventing and managing infections in newborn babies.

Phoebe has a strong interest in global health and continues to work closely with a number of hospitals in low-income countries. She enjoys working with families to achieve their child’s best health outcomes through health promotion and evidence-based management strategies. Phoebe is particularly passionate about evidence-based strategies to promote secure psychological attachment, infant neurodevelopment and protecting children against preventative infectious diseases.


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Page Published: 3 July 2024 | Page Updated: 3 July 2024