Add flu and hepatitis A jabs to National Childhood Immunisation Programme

Flu vaccination being administered to a patient.
Flu vaccination being administered to a patient.PHOTO: CMG

The Government is clearly adopting a forward approach in health. Instead of disease treatment, we are moving towards disease prevention.

For the first time, adult vaccinations will be subsidised, beginning in 2020 (Adult vaccine subsidies, help for vulnerable groups, July 29).

And the more we use these vaccinations, the greater protection it extends to the rest of the community.

I look forward to heavily subsidised vaccinations for adults against ailments like influenza, pneumonia, shingles and pertussis. They will significantly reduce the burden of illness (and morbidity) on the elderly.

Going forward, we should consider adding two vaccinations to the National Childhood Immunisation Programme.

Children with influenza drive the adult influenza outbreaks. By vaccinating children, we cut down the attacks on the elderly. Sick leave is turned into effective school days, and precious parental leave can be reserved for overdue holidays instead.

Hepatitis A is also prevalent as we are exposed to the virus when we go abroad. By introducing hepatitis A vaccination in the National Childhood Immunisation Programme, we can effectively eradicate the disease, as we have for hepatitis B.

Hepatitis A has a grade A rating for disease prevention, that is, there is a high chance of prevention.

Kudos to the HealthySG Taskforce.

Leong Hoe Nam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2019, with the headline 'Add flu and hepatitis A jabs to National Childhood Immunisation Programme'. Print Edition | Subscribe