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Dr. Holly Seale - International Federation on Ageing. Sydney, , AU

Dr. Holly Seale Dr. Holly Seale

Associate Professor | School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of New South Wales


Dr. Seale has an interest in improving awareness and acceptance of immunisation amongst special at-risk groups






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NCIRS Seminar/Webinar - 1 May 2019 - Protecting our most vulnerable from influenza Flu vaccination: factors affecting uptake among health workers Examining the factors associated with influenza  vaccination amongst healthcare workers




Dr Holly Seale is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHMC), University of New South Wales. Her original qualifications were in biomedical science, she then transitioned into public health by undertaking a PhD at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance. Her PhD completed through the University of Sydney examined the epidemiology of cytomegalovirus in Australia. At the SPHCM, she is the Program Director for the Masters of Infectious Disease Intelligence and is responsible for convening three master’s courses. She supervises a large group of students including medical students, master’s coursework, PhD and those undertaking a professional doctorate.

She leads a program of research that is focused on the attitudes and behaviours of consumers and health providers and how they impact on engagement with public health and health service strategies. She has an interest in improving awareness and acceptance of immunisation amongst special at-risk groups including children and adults with chronic medical conditions, and refugees and migrants (travellers). She is recognised for her work around occupational vaccination, having undertaken both qualitative and quantitative research focused on hospital and primary care healthcare providers as well as childcare and aged care staff. This work has led to invitations to collaborate on studies in Europe and China.

As the Deputy Chair of the Collaboration on Social Science in Immunisation, she has strong connections across Australia and internationally focused on the issue of vaccine hesitancy in the community. This network facilitates collaborations to shape questions, methodologies and help translation. It also offers opportunities to undertake research projects that traditionally have been limited in their scope or location. This network provides training through monthly network teleconferences and yearly meetings.

Areas of Expertise (7)


Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment

Public Health and Health Services


Preventive Medicine

Infectious Diseases


Accomplishments (3)

CAPHIA Team Research Award


All-rounder award

2011 School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Alan Hodgkinson Award for Teaching

2016 School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Education (3)

The University of Sydney: M.P.H., Public Health 2009

The University of Sydney: Ph.D., Philosophy 2008

University of Technology, Sydney: B.Sc., Biomedical Science 2003

Affiliations (5)

  • Member, Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases
  • Member, Public Health Association Australian
  • Member, Asian-Pacific Alliance for the Control of Influenza
  • Member, Influenza Specialist Group
  • Board Member, Franklin Women (NSW)

Media Appearances (2)

Hand-hygiene education for future doctors insufficient

Hospital Healthcare  online


Despite hand hygiene (HH) being considered the most cost-effective measure to control healthcare associated infections, healthcare workers are known to have suboptimal HH compliance, especially doctors. One of the contributing factors could be a failure of doctors to learn this behaviour and the rationale for it as medical students.

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Here’s why flu vaccinations should be mandatory for Aussie health workers in high-risk areas

UNSW Newsroom  online


The most effective way to improve flu vaccination rates among health workers in high-risk clinical areas and aged care facilities is to make it mandatory.

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Research Grants (5)

2016 Health Protection NSW

Evaluating the NSW Health 2016 Influenza Campaign 

Investigators: Seale H

2015-2016 Bio-CSL funding for investigator driven research

Travel Health Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices among Australian University Students 

Investigators: Heywood A, Seale H, MacIntyre CR, Rawlinson W, Zwar N, Kefalas B.

2013-14 GSK funding for investigator-driven research

Rotavirus Vaccine Acceptability Study 

Investigators: Heywood AE, Seale H, (Joint CIA) Sitaresmi M, At Thobari J, MacIntyre CR, Sunarto Y

2012-2014 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project

Travellers visiting friends and relatives: new approaches to understanding and reducing infectious disease risks 

Investigators: MacIntyre CR, Zwar NA, Worth H, Seale H, Heywood AE, Sheikh M, Smith MM

2011-14 NHMRC Early Career Fellowship

Applied research in the prevention and control of infections in the hospital setting 

Investigators: Seale H

Featured Articles (7)

Religious and community leaders’ acceptance of rotavirus vaccine introduction in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: a qualitative study

BMC public health

Retna Siwi Padmawati, Anita Heywood, Mei Neni Sitaresmi, Jarir Atthobari, C Raina MacIntyre, Yati Soenarto, Holly Seale

2019 In Indonesia, oral rotavirus vaccines are available but not funded on the National Immunization Program (NIP). New immunization program introduction requires an assessment of community acceptance. For religiously observant Muslims in Indonesia, vaccine acceptance is further complicated by the use of porcine trypsin during manufacturing and the absence of halal labeling.

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Enhancing ovarian cancer care: a systematic review of guideline adherence and clinical variation

BMC public health

Kahren M White, Holly Seale, Reema Harrison

2019 Clinical variation in ovarian cancer care has been reported internationally. Using Wennberg’s classification of clinical variation as effective care we can conceptualise variation through deviation from clinical guidelines.

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Caregiver’s attitudes, beliefs, and experiences for influenza vaccination in Australian children with medical comorbidities


Daniel A Norman, Margie Danchin, Paul Van Buynder, Hannah C Moore, Christopher C Blyth, Holly Seale

2019 Influenza vaccination is recommended and funded for Australian children with medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe influenza. Despite this, influenza vaccine coverage remains low within this population. We examined caregivers’ attitudes and practices for influenza vaccination in children with medical comorbidities.

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The views of key stakeholders around mandatory influenza vaccination of hospital and aged care staff: Examining the current climate in Australia


Alexis Moran, Maria Agaliotis, Holly Seale

2019 Healthcare worker (HCW) vaccination against seasonal influenza is considered a key preventative measure within hospitals and aged-care facilities (ACFs) to reduce the risk of transmission and related disease.

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The role of pneumonia and secondary bacterial infection in fatal and serious outcomes of pandemic influenza a (H1N1) pdm09

BMC infectious diseases

Chandini Raina MacIntyre, Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, Michelle Barnes, Iman Ridda, Holly Seale, Renin Toms, Anita Heywood

2018 The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections during the pandemic of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09. A systematic review was conducted to identify relevant literature in which clinical outcomes of pandemic influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 infection were described.

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The importance of involving midwives before and during the implementation of an antenatal pertussis vaccination program in New South Wales, Australia

Women and Birth

Sonya Nicholl, Holly Seale, Nathan Saul, Sue Campbell-Lloyd

2018 In response to increasing pertussis notifications in NSW, Australia, an antenatal pertussis vaccination program was introduced offering pertussis containing vaccine to all pregnant women in the third trimester.

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Exploring the use of entertainment-education YouTube videos focused on infection prevention and control

American Journal of Infection Control

Kathryn Lim, Claire Kilpatrick, Julie Storr, Holly Seale

2018 As a communications strategy, education entertainment has been used to inform, influence, and shift societal and individual behaviors. Recently, there has been an increasing number of entertainment-education YouTube videos focused on hand hygiene.

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