S’poreans Under 18 Get Free Vaccinations At Clinics By End 2020, Adults Get Them At Subsidised Rates

Subsidised Vaccinations For Kids & Adults To Take Effect By End 2020 At Polyclinics, CHAS GP Clinics

Singapore is a relatively small country with limited space and resources. As such, we have to optimise where we can to ensure our sustainability in the long run.

One way to do this is by safeguarding the population from preventable diseases.

And the Ministry of Health (MOH) has opted to protect citizens from vaccine-preventable diseases by rolling out subsidies for children and adults.

Vaccinations could save us from preventable diseases

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Singaporeans under the age of 18 will be eligible for free vaccinations at all polyclinics and Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) general practitioner (GP) clinics by the end of 2020.

Singaporean adults will also be eligible for subsidised vaccinations at polyclinics.

This was announced on Thursday (5 Mar) by the MOH’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin, during the Community of Supply debate.

Singaporeans under 18 eligible for full subsidies for 8 types of vaccinations

For Singaporeans under the age of 18, vaccinations that will be fully subsidised include those under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS).

Table showing the vaccination types under NCIS

The NCIS includes 8 types of vaccinations against illnesses such as:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Poliovirus
  • Measles.

Currently, most vaccinations and screening for developmental delays are only fully subsidised at polyclinics. Pneumococcal vaccination is also not subsidised.

Singaporean adults eligible for subsidies for 7 types of vaccinations

Singaporean adults will be eligible for subsidies for vaccinations recommended by the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) at polyclinics.

Details on subsidies at CHAS GP clinics have not been announced yet, but will reportedly be similar to that of polyclinics.

Table showing vaccination types under NAIS

The NAIS includes 7 types of vaccinations to protect against 11 types of diseases.

Adults in the lower-to-middle income group will receive a 75% subsidy, while all other adults are eligible to a 50% subsidy.

Merdeka Generation seniors will get an additional 25% off, while Pioneer Generation seniors will get another 50% off.

There are currently no subsidies for adult vaccinations in polyclinics.

MOH aims to increase vaccination coverage among adults to more than 50%

While the coverage of childhood vaccinations in Singapore remains high, with most vaccinations exceeding 95% in the past 5 years, the same can’t be said for adult vaccinations.

MOH hopes to increase vaccination coverage among Singaporean adults to more than 50% by 2025.

Nurse giving vaccine injection to a patient

“The aim is to reduce the number of people who fall ill from vacinne-preventable diseases,” said Mr Amrin.

He adds that by keeping vaccine-preventable diseases out, we can keep Singaporeans healthy and out of hospitals, and this would lead to system-wide savings in the long run.

Well, savings are forever welcome, so let’s invest in subsidised prevention so that we can save on cures.

Featured image adapted from Headway News.

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