Singapore Proposes Subsidies To Increase Adult Vaccine Uptake

Target: 50% of the adult population within 5 years

KUALA LUMPUR, August 2 — Singapore is worried about the low number of senior citizens who have vaccinated themselves against invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). IPD is the cause of death for one in every four to five adults above the age of 60.

Only less than 15 per cent of those between the ages of 65 to 74 have been vaccinated.

Figures from the Singapore Ministry of Health indicate that the take-up rate for the influenza vaccine is around 14 per cent.

As part of efforts to increase the number of adults vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), the Singapore government will provide subsidies to adult citizens and permanent residents.

The aim would be to have more than 50 per cent of the adult population to be vaccinated against diseases within five years.

Associate Professor Helen Oh, senior consultant for infectious diseases at Changi General Hospital told Channel News Asia, “Public education is crucial to dispel any misinformation or misconception that vaccine-preventable diseases are not serious. The public may also have a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine.”

Diseases under NAIS include human papillomavirus, measles, hepatitis B, chickenpox, tetanus, influenza and pneumococcal diseases.

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