Getting flu vaccination at polyclinic seems impossible

A patient receiving a flu vaccination.
A patient receiving a flu vaccination.PHOTO: ST FILE

I have been trying to get an influenza vaccination at a polyclinic here but it is looking to be an impossible task.

When I first called up in March to make an appointment with Outram Polyclinic, I was told that the polyclinic had run out of the vaccine. It could not tell me when more supplies would arrive. I was told that I had to call up from time to time to check if the vaccine was available.

I called up on April 23 and was finally able to make an appointment for the vaccination a few days later, on April 26.

On the day of the appointment, the polyclinic rang to say that it had run out of the vaccine. As before, it could not tell me when new supplies were expected to be in. I would simply have to call up to check.

It seems ridiculous that even after I had made an appointment, the polyclinic was unable to set aside supplies to ensure that I could get my vaccination as scheduled.

SingHealth, on its website, expressly advises patients to make appointments for their vaccinations. Why ask patients to do that when - at least in my case - a polyclinic is incapable of reserving adequate supplies for those who have made appointments?

What is even more galling is that I received an SMS the day after the scheduled appointment informing me that I had "missed" my appointment.

It is more economical for me - and many Singaporeans - to get vaccinated at a polyclinic. Must I be denied the vaccination because I do not have the means to do so at a private clinic?

Liang Li Yong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2019, with the headline 'Getting flu vaccination at polyclinic seems impossible'. Print Edition | Subscribe