Posted on Jul 13, 2015 by Travis Jones
Over the past couple of years vaccinations have been a hot topic all around the world. Some parents may believe that they lead to unwanted and serious side effects, such as autism, in some children. However, the international medical community has largely and resolutely defended vaccines as not only a good way to prevent disease, but necessary to prevent wide spread outbreaks of potentially fatal diseases.
Singapore has access to some of the finest quality medical facilities and doctors the world has to offer, and vaccines are no exception. Just what are the guidelines for vaccinations in the city, though? Where can you go to receive them, and how much might you have to pay? Pacific Prime Singapore delves into the topic here.
To put it plainly, vaccines work by introducing a weakened form of a disease to the body. The body’s own immune system is then able to destroy the weakened pathogen, and essentially learns and remembers how to destroy it if it is reintroduced to the body; even in a non-weakened state. Ever since Edward Jenner’s successful creation of a Smallpox vaccine in the late 18th century, scientists and doctors have been able to use this process of utilizing the body’s own defense systems to prevent infections and save countless lives.
There are a number of diseases that we now have well established vaccines for, including:
- Measles, Mumps and Rubella
- Hepatitis A and B
The above list is of common vaccines that people are likely to receive either as infants, or later on in life. Of course, new vaccines are being developed all the time. There was even recent news of an HIV vaccine that is nearing a human trial.
Beyond these common vaccines for people who lived in a place as developed as Singapore, there are additional vaccines that are recommended for those who will be travelling, especially in lesser developed nations. Vaccines for Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Japanese Encephalitis or Rabies may be recommended for you depending on where you plan on travelling. The government of Singapore will actually require people travelling into it from countries at risk for Yellow Fever to have proof of vaccination for the disease before they will be allowed entry, which includes many countries in Africa and Central & South America.
Getting vaccinated in Singapore
For Singapore residents aged 18 and younger, there is a National Immunization Registry (NIR) that keeps track of which immunizations each resident has. By law, it is required that every Singapore resident be immunized against both Measles and Diphtheria. The recommended ages for receiving the first doses of these vaccines are 3 months and 12 months respectively. The whole array of other available vaccines can be administered at parents’ or individuals’ discretion, but a quick discussion on the subject with a family doctor will undoubtedly lead to a recommendation of most being obtained at the ages prescribed by the Singapore Government’s Health Promotion Board.
Fortunately, getting yourself or your children vaccinated in Singapore is easy, as most hospitals and clinics will be happy to administer them. For children in particular, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital would be a good place to start. Beyond being able to administer vaccines, they have the experience with children to put yours at ease during what can be an intimidating and downright scary process for some.
For adults, simply talk to your family doctor or general practitioner, who will likely be able to take care of vaccinations at their office, or recommend someone they trust to do so. Don’t have a family doctor or GP? Ask friends and family in Singapore to see if they have any trusted doctors that they would recommend, or contact the Ministry of Health for information on qualified medical professionals near you. Additionally, if you are in a hurry to get vaccinated before a trip, the Travel Clinic at Singapore General Hospital may be a good option for you, as they take walk-in appointments and will have a stock of the vaccines you may need.
Are you covered?
For Singaporean nationals, up to S$400 per year can be used, after a 15% co-payment, from an individual’s Medisave account for approved vaccinations. With access to the public health system, covering the costs of vaccinations should not be an issue.
Expatriates in Singapore, however, do not have access to the city-state’s public healthcare system, and will find that vaccinations at private healthcare facilities can be twice as expensive as in the public counterparts. The prices for some vaccinations, such as Influenza, can be as low as $35, but others can be more expensive. (HPV vaccines can cost up to $150 and Shingles can cost up to $400.
This, combined with the risk of more serious and costly medical conditions developing, is a good reason to possess and make use of an international private medical insurance plan, like those available through Pacific Prime Singapore. With comprehensive health insurance coverage, there’s no need to worry about the cost of preventing or treating diseases for your family. Contact our helpful experts today and they can work with you to find a custom tailored insurance plan that perfectly fits your needs, as well as provide you with a free quote.