Did you know that certain adult vaccinations are as important as childhood vaccinations? Keep reading to find out more...
When talking about vaccinations the focus is almost always on babies and children, while most adults rarely think of getting any vaccination.
However, a report by Ms Ng Wan Chin in The Straits Times highlights the importance of adult vaccinations and points out that many are not aware of how important certain vaccinations are in helping to boost the immune systems of vulnerable adult populations.
The good news is that more vaccines for adults have now been made available in Singapore and health professionals are hoping this will change common perceptions about adult vaccinations among the public.
Adult vaccinations in Singapore include those for shingles and influenza, with public hospitals such as NUH also offering vaccination programmes for certain groups of adults.
Quoting Dr Leong Hoe Nam, an infectious diseases specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, the news report points out that Singapore currently does not offer a schedule of vaccinations for adults, unlike in the U.S., Europe and Australia.
For now, the Ministry of Health (MOH) recommends the adult vaccinations which protect against influenza and pneumococcal disease for people in high-risk groups, such as those with chronic medical conditions and the elderly.
Not many people are aware that influenza can be fatal for the elderly, those with pre-existing lung disease, diabetes and weakened immune systems.
However, according to the article, despite the MOH’s advice, the number of people in these high-risk groups who get vaccinated is still very low.
This could be because of the lack of awareness among patients, their families and health-care providers.
The article explains that another reason for the low take-up rate of these adult vaccines could be the cost, with an influenza shot costing about $35, and a pneumococcal vaccine costing up to $80 in private clinics.
More on adult vaccinations on the next page…