SINGAPORE: Team Singapore’s contingent will receive booster shots before departing for the 30th Sea Games in the Philippines, the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) said on Saturday (Nov 23).
In response to media queries, the SNOC said these are “additional measures” to ensure a “higher degree of coverage”.
“Singapore’s national immunisation programme is comprehensive and covers protection against polio and measles,” said Dr Teoh Chin Sim, Team Singapore’s chief medical officer for the Games.
“However, with the recent increased incidents of polio in the Philippines (as recent as 20 November 2019) and measles worldwide, we have arranged for the Team Singapore contingent to obtain their booster shots to raise their level of protection before they depart for the Philippines.
“These vaccinations are additional measures to ensure a higher degree of coverage, in addition to the primary doses they obtained previously.”
Team Singapore will send its biggest away contingent to the SEA Games this year, with 647 athletes from 48 sports. This year's SEA Games will take place in the Philippines in the cities of Clark, Manila and Subic from Nov 30 to Dec 11. There will be a total of 530 events contested in the games.
Two cases of polio were first detected in September, the first polio infections in the Philippines since 2001, adding to the woes of a country already hit by deadly measles and dengue epidemic.
The latest cases of the disease were reported on the island of Mindanao earlier this week, local media reported.
The risk of the disease spreading within the Philippines is high, according to World Health Organisation, due to low immunisation coverage partly blamed to a dengue vaccine scandal.
The Philippines was the first nation to use Dengvaxia in a mass programme in 2016, but a botched roll-out led to claims that children had died after being vaccinated.