Chickenpox, pneumococcal jabs to be free for eligible Singaporean children as MOH enhances vaccination subsidies

Chickenpox, pneumococcal jabs to be free for eligible Singaporean children as MOH enhances vaccination subsidies

Vaccinations against chickenpox and pneumococcal disease will be free for eligible Singaporean children from November, as part of enhanced subsidies for nationally recommended vaccinations announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (Jul 13). Jeraldine Yap with the full story. 

SINGAPORE: Vaccinations against chickenpox and pneumococcal disease will be free for eligible Singaporean children from November, as part of enhanced subsidies for nationally recommended vaccinations announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (Jul 13).

Subsidies will be enhanced for vaccinations recommended under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) and National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS) at all Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) general practitioner clinics and polyclinics from Nov 1, said MOH in a press release.

This is part of efforts to "better protect Singaporeans from vaccine-preventable diseases and to reduce the risk of outbreaks in the community", it said.

"From Nov 1, 2020, Singaporeans will benefit from higher subsidies of between S$35 to S$125 for nationally recommended vaccinations listed on the subsidised vaccine list administered at CHAS GP clinics," said the ministry.

For example, eligible Pioneer Generation cardholders will have payments capped at between S$9 and S$16 per vaccination dose.

Eligible Merdeka Generation, CHAS Blue and Orange cardholders will have payments capped at between S$18 and S$31 per vaccination dose.

The ministry said other eligible adult Singaporeans will have payments capped at between S$35 and S$63 per vaccination dose. 

At polyclinics, adult Singaporeans will receive up to 75 per cent subsidy for NAIS vaccinations, while Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation seniors will also get an additional 50 per cent and 25 per cent subsidy respectively on top of that.

Meanwhile, eligible Singaporean children will see a range of nationally recommended vaccinations fully subsidised at these clinics.

This will include vaccinations against pneumococcal disease, which are currently chargeable, and vaccinations against chicken pox, which are not currently on the NCIS.

They will also receive a full subsidy for the seven childhood development screening milestones at both CHAS GP clinics and polyclinics, said MOH.

The fee caps at CHAS GP clinics will be as follows:

MOH table CHAS vaccine subsidies
(Image: Ministry of Health)

Subsidies at polyclinics:

Polyclinic Subsidies
(Image: Ministry of Health)

VACCINES FOR CHILDREN

Under the enhanced subsidies, eligible Singaporean children will not have to pay for vaccinations listed under the NCIS.

The following vaccines will also be added to the NCIS:

  • Two types of varicella-containing vaccines for the prevention of chickenpox: i) combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine; and ii) monovalent varicella vaccine.
  • Influenza vaccines for target groups of children who are at higher risk of developing influenza-related complications.
  • The pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine to protect children with chronic or rare medical conditions who are at high risk of developing severe pneumococcal disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. This is in addition to the existing pneumococcal conjugate vaccines currently recommended for all young children.

VACCINATION SUBSIDY LIST

Only selected vaccine brands listed on the subsidised vaccine list will be eligible for vaccination subsidies, and the listing may be reviewed from time to time, MOH said.

“The ministry may review the listings periodically, in response to new price proposals from manufacturers, regulatory approval of new vaccines and other changes in global market conditions.” 

As clinics may require time to procure vaccines that are required, MOH also encouraged people to make appointments with their preferred clinics for their vaccinations before visiting them.

Source: CNA/kv(nc)

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