Handy guide on when to go for jabs

The new immunisation schedule for adults drawn up by the Health Ministry provides a handy guide on when to go for certain jabs later in life, say patients and experts.

The National Adult Immunisation Schedule, unveiled yesterday, is aimed at guiding those 18 and above.

Singapore residents can use Medisave to pay for these recommended vaccines from Nov 1. They are influenza; pneumococcal disease; human papillomavirus (HPV); tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B; and varicella.

 
 

Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, said: "The important public health message here is that vaccines are not just for children, and even adults will benefit from them." Such schedules are already in place in developed countries like the United States, Britain, and Australia, he noted.

Retiree Theresa Tan, 68, who is diabetic, welcomed the move. "I am now more aware of the vaccinations I can take to live a more healthy life," she said.

Ms Tin Pei Ling, a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health, said childhood vaccinations may have worn off for some. "Some are at higher risk of certain health conditions. These recommendations raise awareness so that they know how to better protect themselves."

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, chairman of the GPC for Health, noted that the initiative is a good start and could pave the way for more adults to benefit in the future, such as by "including more vaccinations and changing the criteria".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 22, 2017, with the headline 'Handy guide on when to go for jabs'. Print Edition | Subscribe