A Complete Guide: How Important Are Travel Vaccinations?
30 May, 2023 by Dr. All
Pre-travel vaccinations in Singapore are an essential aspect of travel preparation. While Singapore does not require vaccination, it is crucial to determine the specific immunization requirements for the destination, the individual’s health, and their age. Travellers should plan and schedule vaccinations well in advance of travel to ensure they are fully protected and ready for their trip.
What are Pre-Travel vaccinations?
Pre-travel vaccinations refer to immunisations that individuals receive before travelling to specific destinations. These vaccinations are intended to protect individuals from contracting infectious diseases that are prevalent in specific areas across the globe.
Does Singapore allow unvaccinated travellers?
While Singapore does not require travellers to be vaccinated before entering the country, it is highly recommended that individuals receive certain vaccinations before travelling abroad. The type of vaccinations required would depend on the destination and the individual’s health status, age, and medical history.
What Type of Vaccinations Do I Need for Travel?
There is a wide range of pre-travel vaccinations that you can take. But the most common and basic pre-travel vaccinations include Hepatitis A and B, and influenza (flu). Some vaccines require multiple doses over a period of time, so it is essential to plan and schedule vaccinations in advance of travel.
When Should I Complete My Travel Vaccinations?
It is highly recommended that individuals complete their travel vaccinations at least four to six weeks before travelling. This allows sufficient time for vaccines to take effect and for any side effects to subside. Additionally, having vaccinations completed before travel may be required for certain visa applications.
Where can I get travel vaccinations in Singapore?
While travelling to new places can be an exciting adventure, it is crucial to take precautions to protect ourselves from diseases that may be common in other countries.
Vaccinations are an essential part of pre-travel preparations, but deciding which vaccine to take can be overwhelming. Here, we will be discussing the top 3 pre-travel vaccinations that are essential before your trip.
All travellers should get vaccinated against influenza, except for individuals who have severe allergies to the vaccine’s ingredients or compromised immune systems.
Influenza vaccinations have been shown to decrease the risk of influenza-related hospitalisations and fatalities, particularly in older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions. The circulating viral strains vary from season to season; hence, it is best to research the strains in the vaccination prior to receiving it so as to gain the optimal efficacy of influenza immunisation.
Flu vaccination is recommended for children as young as 6 months old.
Flu Vaccination Subsidies and the Use of Medisave
Singaporeans belonging to high-risk groups can receive significant financial assistance for flu vaccinations when visiting CHAS GP clinics or polyclinics.
- Children aged 6 to 59 months and any child belonging to high-risk groups may receive a yearly flu vaccination at no cost.
- Singaporean citizens aged 65 and above, along with adults in high-risk categories, may receive an annual flu vaccination at CHAS GP clinics and polyclinics at subsidised rates.
Individuals with a higher risk of complications related to influenza can also utilise their MediSave funds of up to $500/$700 per year at both CHAS GP clinics and polyclinics.
Hepatitis A Vaccination
Hepatitis A causes the liver to become inflamed, enlarged, and sensitive. Though Hepatitis A causes short-term liver infection and does not become chronic, it is highly contagious, and one can become very ill.
Typically, this virus is spread through tainted food and water, contact with faeces, or, more rarely, intimate contact with infected people.
Travel vaccination is the most effective method of preventing hepatitis A. People who are going to places where hepatitis A is more prevalent should get immunisation in advance.
Hepatitis B Vaccination
Similar to hepatitis A, hepatitis B also causes the liver to become inflamed and dysfunctional and has the potential to develop chronic liver diseases. Hepatitis B is the most prevalent human hepatitis virus in Singapore, with around 6% of the population being hepatitis B carriers.
Hepatitis B can be transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids from an infected individual. Babies born to hepatitis B carrier mothers could be infected during or soon after birth if they are not vaccinated.
It is advisable to get the Hepatitis B vaccine to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Getting pre-travel vaccinations is an important step in ensuring your safety while travelling abroad. The last thing you ever want is a dampened holiday caused by contracting an illness that could have been prevented.
At Atlas Associates Clinic, we offer comprehensive medical services for travellers, including pre-travel vaccination services tailored to your specific needs. We are on the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Program, which enables all Singapore citizens, including Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation cardholders, to receive subsidised vaccinations.
We offer personalised advice to help you understand the potential risks and side effects, as well as the best ways to manage your health while travelling. Schedule an appointment today to ensure you are fully protected before embarking on your next adventure.