By Dr Clarence Yeo
MB ChB (Dublin)
Vaccination is your best protection against influenza in the upcoming “flu season”. In Singapore, influenza occurs throughout the year with the main influenza peak season usually happening from December to February the following year.
This corresponds to the “Northern hemisphere influenza season”. There is usually another small peak around May to June every year and this corresponds to the Southern hemisphere influenza season.
The Northern Hemisphere 2020/2021 influenza vaccine has recently become available and we encourage yearly vaccination for all those at risk.
The Ministry of Health Singapore recommends that the following groups of “high risk” individuals be vaccinated:
- Persons aged 65 years or older;
- Young children (aged 6 months to 59 months);
- Pregnant women (all stages);
- Persons with chronic medical diseases (including cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, renal, neurologic, hepatic, or haematologic disorders);
- Persons who are immunosuppressed; and
- Anyone staying in intermediate or long-term care facilities.
Most individuals above the age of 6 months can receive the influenza vaccine as long as they do not have an existing allergic reaction to any of the components of the influenza vaccine, especially allergic reactions to egg protein.
It will take approximately 2 weeks after vaccination for your body to produce antibodies against the vaccine strains. Thus, it is important to get your vaccination before the flu season starts. The influenza strains undergo continuous changes and the influenza vaccines need to be “updated” every season. As a result, you need to receive annual influenza vaccinations.
Fluarix Tetra registered in Singapore covers 4 strains – 2 for influenza A and 2 for influenza B.
We are pleased to inform you that it is now available at our clinic.
From 1 November 2020 Under the Enhanced Subsidies for the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme, Pioneer and Merdeka Generation patients will only need to Co-pay $9/$18 for the vaccine.
Medisave can be also be used for this vaccination under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS).