Ministry of Health's new immunisation scheme Medisave for adults in Singapore positive: Expert

Adults in Singapore can make use of their Medisave take vaccines from November 2017. This is for the first time that a vaccination schedule for adults is getting introduced in Singapore,

Singapore: Rise in whooping cough cases affecting infants
A nurse displays a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis whooping cough vaccine Reuters

The Ministry of Health, Singapore has introduced the new vaccination schedule for adults in the nation beginning from November 2017. As a part of it, adults depending on their age and health can take recommended MOH vaccinations using Medisave.

The adult Immunisation schedule was formulated based on expert recommendations from medical practitioners, MOH officials, and government officials. Adults can use up to S$400 from their Medisave account a year for selected outpatient treatments and health screenings. The new Immunisation schedule is expected to encourage adult Singaporeans to take vaccinations from their Medisave.

Expert opinion on the new initiative

According to health experts in Singapore, allowing people to use their Medisave will make vaccinations affordable, and it will also increase the health standards of the people in the country.

Hsu Li Yang, an Associate Professor at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore said that immunisation is one of the best ways by which infectious diseases can be prevented in the most cost-effective manner.

"If a sufficiently large proportion of the population is vaccinated, there is a corresponding herd immunity that results in some protection for the rest that are not," said Hsu Li Yang, Straits Times reports.

Dr Chia Shi-Lu, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Health said that the decision to take the vaccination or not should be taken after proper consultation with doctors.

Seven Vaccines that protect against 11 diseases

The new National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) comprises of seven vaccines that can protect against eleven diseases including Flu and Hepatitis B. Other diseases which can be combated using these vaccines are whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.

This is for the first time that a vaccination schedule for adults is getting introduced in Singapore, and it is aimed at encouraging preventive care among the adult population.

The National Childhood Immunisation Programme is prevalent in the country for years, and the ministry has successfully executed the campaign among children in the nation state. The MOH will follow a similar execution plan when it comes to the National Adult Immunisation Schedule, and they hope that it will also become successful among the specific population.

Lam Pin Min, the Senior Minister of State for Health and Transport said that the Health Ministry has been quite successful in conducting the Immunisation scheme for children. He added that the adult population in the country is not well aware of the benefits they gain from vaccination taken during the latter years of their lives.

According to Lam Pin Min, 56 out of 100,000 people admitted after 65 years of age suffer pneumococcal diseases which may turn to deadly pneumonia in the course of time. Lam made it clear that the risk of pneumonia can be reduced by taking vaccines which cost up to $170.

Lam Pin Min, however, noted that the new initiative will be successful in the country only when it is followed widely and appropriately by the adult Singapore nationals.