Dr Anita Heywood

Dr Anita Heywood B. Sc (Biomed), Grad Cert (Uni L&T), MPH, PhD
Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, UNSW, SYDNEY

Dr Anita Heywood is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW, Sydney and Director of the Master of Public Health program. 

Dr Heywood is an infectious disease epidemiologist whose research focuses on three key areas: vaccine-preventable disease epidemiology; travel-associated infectious disease risks; and migrant, refugee and international traveller immunisation gaps. She has led several large scale projects including airport studies of departing Australian and international travellers and their risk behaviours and an enhanced surveillance of Australians with travel-associated infectious diseases. She is currently leading a study with university students to estimate population immunity to vaccine-preventable diseases including measles and hepatitis B.  

Her 2016 publication “The contribution of travellers visiting friends and relatives to notified infectious diseases in Australia: State-based enhanced surveillance” published in Epidemiology and Infection focused on measles, typhoid, hepatitis A and hepatitis B (as well as non-vaccine-preventable diseases paratyphoid, malaria and chikungunya) found that:
•    77% of travel-associated notifiable diseases were in immigrants or their children. 
•    Travel to visit friends and relatives in their or their parents’ country of birth contributed 65% of imported disease.
•    Collection of travel history and cultural and linguistic data is important to monitor travel risk groups. 
•    Disease prevention in risk groups will impact on infection disease importation.

Dr Heywood is internationally recognised for her research on migrant travellers health risks and has been invited to present her research at the International Society of Travel Medicine conferences in 2015 and 2017. She led the traveller, migrant and refugee theme for the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence “Immunisation in under studied and special risk populations: closing the gap in knowledge through a multidisciplinary approach”.  In this role, the report outlining key recommendations arising from a national immunisation stakeholder workshop has been used to advocate for changes to the national immunisation register for migrants and refugees. In 2014 she was appointed as a Fellow in the inaugural Vaccine & Edward Jenner Vaccine Society Young Investigator Program. She is founding member of the Peer Advisory Committee of Franklin Women, a network for women in health and medical research




  1. Walker L, Newall A and Heywood A.E.  Knowledge, attitudes and practices of Australian medical students towards influenza vaccination. Vaccine. 2016;34(50: 6193-6199
  2. Karki S, Dyda A, Newall A, Heywood A, MacIntyre CR, McIntyre P, Banks E, Liu B. Comparison of influenza vaccination coverage between immigrant and Australian-born adults. Vaccine. 2016;34(50): 6388-6395
  3. Kpozehouen E, Heywood AE, Kay, M, Smith M, Paudel P, Macintyre CR. Improving access to immunisation for migrants and refugees: Recommendations from a stakeholder workshop. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2016; [e-pub ahead of print]
  4. Heywood A.E., Nothdurft H, Tessier D, Moodley M, Rombo L, Marano C, De Moerlooze L. Pre-travel advice, attitudes and hepatitis A and B vaccination rates among travelers from seven countries. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2016:24(1): pii: taw069 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jtm/taw069 
  5. Karki S, Newall A, Macintyre CR, Heywood AE, McIntyre PB, Banks E, Lui B. Healthcare resource utilisation associated with herpes zoster in adults aged 45 years and older in Australia.  PLoS One; 2016;11(8):e0160446
  6. Heywood AE, Zwar N, Forssman BL, Seale H, Stephens N, Musto J, Lane C, Polkinghorne B, Sheikh M, Smith M, Worth H, Macintyre CR. The contribution of travelers visiting friends and relatives to notified infectious diseases in Australia: State-based enhanced surveillance.  Epidemiology and Infection. 2016:144(16): 3554-3563
  7. MacIntyre CR, Karki S, Sheikh M, Zwar N, and Heywood AE. The role of travel in measles outbreaks in Australia - an enhanced surveillance study. Vaccine 2016:34(37): 4386–4391
  8. Neave P, Heywood AE, Gibney K, Leder K. Imported infections: what information should be collected on surveillance systems to inform public health policy? Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 2016;14(4):350-359
  9. Seale H, Kaur R, Mahimbo A, MacIntyre CR, Zwar N, Smith M, Worth H, Heywood AE. Improving the uptake of pre travel health advice amongst migrant Australians: exploring the attitudes of primary care providers and migrant community groups. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016;16:213. DOI: 10.1186/s12879-016-1479-1
  10. Bui C, Rahman B, Heywood AE, Macintyre CR. A meta-analysis of the prevalence of influenza A H5N1 and H7N9 infection in birds. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2016:[e-pub ahead of print]
  11. Alqahtani AS, Wiley, KE, Tashani M, Willaby, HW, Heywood AE, BinDhim NF, Booy R, Rashid, H. Exploring barriers to and facilitators of preventive measures against infectious diseases among Australian Hajj pilgrims: Cross-sectional studies before and after Hajj. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2016; 47:53-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.02.005
  12. Alqahtani AS, BinDhim NF, Tashani M, Willaby HW, Wiley KE, Heywood AE, Booy R, Rashid H. Pilot use of a novel Smartphone application to track travellers’ health behaviour and collect infectious disease data during Mass gathering: Hajj pilgrimage 2014. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health 2016: 6(3):147-55
  13. Seale H, Sitaresmi MN, Atthobari J, Heywood AE, Kaur R, MacIntyre CR, Soenarto Y, Padmawati S. Knowledge and attitudes towards rotavirus diarrhea and the vaccine amongst healthcare providers in Yogyakarta Indonesia. BMC Health Services Research 2015;15:528
  14. Barnes M, Heywood AE, Mahimbo A, Rahman B, Newall A, Macintyre CR. Acute myocardial infarction and influenza: a meta-analysis of case-control studies. BMJ Heart 2015;doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2015-307691.
  15. Alqahtani A, Sheikh M, Wiley K. Heywood AE. Australian Hajj pilgrims' infection control beliefs and practices: Insight with implications for public health approaches. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2015;13(4):329–334
  16. Heywood AE, Forssman B, Seale H, Macintyre CR and Zwar N. General practitioners' perception of risk for travelers visiting friends and relatives. Journal of Travel Medicine 2015;22(6):368-74. doi: 10.1111/jtm.12229.
  17. Ma T, Heywood A, Macintyre CR. Chinese Travellers Visiting Friends and Relatives - A Review of Infectious Risks. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. 2015:13(4):285-94.
  18. Wood J, Heywood AE, Menzies R, McIntyre P, Macintyre CR. Predicting localised measles outbreak potential in Australia. Vaccine 2015 33(9):1176-81
  19. Alqahtani A, Rashid H, Heywood AE. Vaccinations against respiratory tract infections at Hajj. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2015; 21 (2):115–127
  20. Liu B, Heywood AE, Reekie J, Banks E, Kaldor J, McIntyre P, Newall A and MacIntyre CR. Risk factors for herpes zoster in a large cohort of unvaccinated older adults: prospective cohort study. Epidemiology and Infection 2015;16:1-11
  21. Ridda I, Heywood AE, Hueston L, Dwyer D, Macintyre CR. The burden of pertussis in patients with and without recurrent ischaemic vascular events. Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets 2014;14(2):101-109
  22. Heywood AE, Macartney KK, Wang H, McIntyre P. Varicella and herpes zoster hospitalizations before and after implementation of one-dose varicella vaccination in Australia: an ecological study. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. 2014;92:593–604
  23. Macartney KK, Heywood AE, McIntyre PB. Vaccines for post-exposure prophylaxis against varicella (chickenpox) in children and adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD001833. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001833.pub3.
  24. Macintyre CR, Heywood AE, Kavoor P. Influenza virus vaccine reduces risk of ischemic events: time for a large-scale randomized trial? Future Cardiology 2014; 10(1):35-37
  25. MacIntyre CR,  Heywood  AE, Kovoor P, Ridda I, Seale H, Tan T, Gao Z, Katelaris AL, Siu HWD, Lo V, Lindley R, Dwyer D. Ischaemic heart disease, influenza and influenza vaccination: a prospective case control study. Heart. 2013. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304320
  26. Smith BJ, Hazelton BJ, Heywood AE, Peacock K, and Macartney KK. Disseminated tuberculosis and tuberculous meningitis in Australian born children; case reports and review of current epidemiology and management. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2012. doi: 10.1111/jpc.12035.
  27. Heywood AE, Newall A, Gao Z, Wood J, Breschkin A, Nicholson S, Gidding HF, Dwyer DE, Gilbert GL and MacIntyre CR. Changes in seroprevalence to hepatitis A in Victoria, Australia: a comparison of three time points. Vaccine Aug 2012;30: 6020– 6026
  28. Heywood AE, Watkins RE, Iamsirithaworn S, Nilvarangkul K. MacIntyre CR. A cross-sectional study of pre-travel health-seeking practices among travelers departing Sydney and Bangkok airports. BMC Public Health 2012;12:321
  29. Heywood AE, Zhang M, MacIntyre CR, Seale H. Travel risk behaviours and uptake of pre-travel health preventions by university students in Australia. BMC Infectious Diseases Feb 2012;12:43
  30. Heywood AE, Watkins RE, Pattanasin S, Iamsirithaworn S, Nilvarangkul K and MacIntyre CR. Self-reported symptoms of infection among travellers departing from Sydney and Bangkok Airports. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2010:17(4):243-249
  31. Seale H, Heywood AE, McLaws M-L, Ward KF, Lowbridge CP, Van D and MacIntyre CR. Why do I need it? I am not at risk! Public Perceptions towards the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccine. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2010:10:99
  32. Kelly H, Riddell M, Heywood A, Lambert S. WHO criteria for measles elimination: a critique with reference to criteria for polio elimination. Eurosurveillance. 2009;14(50):pii=19445
  33. Seale H, McLaws ML, Heywood AE, Ward KF, Lowbridge CP, Van D, Gralton J, MacIntyre CR. The community’s attitude towards swine flu and pandemic influenza. Medical Journal of Australia 2009;191 (5):267-269
  34. Brotherton JML, Heywood AE and Heley S.  The incidence of genital warts in Australian women prior to the national vaccination program Sexual Health 2009;6(3):178-184.
  35. Wood J, Gidding H, Heywood A, Macartney K, McIntyre P, MacIntyre CR. Potential impacts of schedule changes, waning immunity and vaccine uptake on measles elimination in Australia. Vaccine 2009;27:313-318
  36. Heywood AE, Gidding HF, Riddell MA, McIntyre PB, MacIntyre CR and Kelly HA. Elimination of endemic measles transmission in Australia. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. 2009;87:64-71
  37. Heywood AE, Macartney KK, MacIntyre CR and McIntyre PB. Current developments in varicella-zoster virus disease prevention. A report on the varicella-zoster virus workshop convened by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases on 16–17 November 2006. Communicable Diseases Intelligence. 2007;31(3):303-310.


  1. Rahman B, Heywood AE, Moa A, Macintyre CR. Inappropriate analytical method and exposure misclassification as probable causes of null findings in “Influenza vaccination and cardiovascular risk in patients with recent TIA and stroke. Neurology. 2014; Published June 20, 2014
  2. Macintyre CR and Heywood AE. The Bradford-Hill criteria and evidence of association between influenza vaccination and ischaemic heart disease. Heart. 2014;doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-305435
  3. Ridda I, Seale H, Katelaris A, Heywood AE, Tan, TC and MacIntyre CR. Pneumococcal colonisation following influenza infection. Vaccine 2011;29(38):6444-6445.
  4. Heywood AE and Macartney K. How to better understand trends in Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-related disease epidemiology? Medical Journal of Australia 2011; 194(5):268-269


Mission statement

To reduce the immunisation gap between adults and children through research, teaching and advocacy, with a special focus on the elderly, high risk and vulnerable populations.

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Professor Raina MacIntyre

Raina MacIntyre

NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity.

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Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

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Research Associate

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