Going away for a Holiday? Protect yourself from flu bugs or viruses that you might potentially pick up from foreign lands. Don’t let these bugs spoil the joy and incur unnecessary medical expenses overseas. We cover you from Influenza Vaccination to Hepatitis Vaccination, to minimise the potential of catching these bugs.
- Hepatitis A & B
- Dengvaxia (Dengue)
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 health planning, but deciding on which vaccine to take can be overwhelming. Here, we will look at the top 3 vaccinations before travelling.
1. Flu Vaccination (Influenza)
Influenza vaccinations are recommended for all travellers, except those who are allergic to the components of the vaccine or those who have a weakened immune system.
- Influenza vaccinations have been shown to reduce the risk of influenza-related hospitalisations and deaths, especially among older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions. The effectiveness of influenza vaccinations varies from season to season, depending on how well the vaccine matches the circulating virus strains.
- Influenza is classified into Types A, B, C and D. Influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics commonly known as the “flu season”.
- Type influenza includes H1N1 and H3N2 while Type B influenza includes the Victoria strain and Yamagata strain.
- Most flu vaccinations these days cover up to 4 strains and World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for 2023/2024 North-hemisphere and South-hemisphere are:
- A/Victoria/4897/2022 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Austria/1359417/2021-like virus (B/Victoria lineage)
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage)
Hence, it is important to get boosted seasonally. Before vaccination, it is good practice to find out the type of strains that are covered in the vaccination to ensure adequate protection.
2. Hepatitis A Vaccination
- Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver, leading to inflammation, enlargement, and tenderness. However, it does not cause long-term or chronic infections.
- This virus is typically transmitted through contaminated food and water and can be contracted by consuming shellfish from sewage-contaminated water or by being in close contact with infected individuals.
- The most effective way to protect against Hepatitis A is through vaccination. It is recommended that individuals travelling to regions with a high prevalence of Hepatitis A receive the Hepatitis A vaccine in advance.
3. Hepatitis B Vaccination
- Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver, leading to inflammation and dysfunction. The difference between Hepatitis A and B is the mode of transmission. Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids from an infected person.
- On the other hand, Hepatitis A can be spread through the transmission of faecal matter or by consuming contaminated food or water.
- Sharing personal items like toothbrushes or razors with an infected person can also spread the virus. Additionally, a baby born to an infected mother may contract the virus at birth without proper immunisation.
- Symptoms of Hepatitis B often include jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and joint pain. The Hepatitis B vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by the Hepatitis B Virus.
Can foreigners/visiting relatives take vaccinations during their visit to Singapore?
- Non-Singaporeans residing in Singapore and visiting relatives can take vaccinations, but the availability of vaccines may vary.
- Most vaccination clinics prioritise vaccines for residents and citizens, meaning non-residents may have to wait longer or have limited access to certain vaccines.
- It is advisable to check with the clinic or hospital before booking an appointment to ensure that the vaccine is available and that your relative is eligible for vaccination.
How to make appointments? Can we walk in for the vaccination?
- Booking an appointment for testing or vaccination is a simple process. Most clinics and hospitals offer online appointment booking systems, making it easy to schedule your appointment from anywhere.
- You can also call the clinic or hospital to make an appointment. Some clinics may also offer walk-in vaccination services, but it is best to schedule an appointment to ensure that the vaccine is available and to avoid waiting.
- In conclusion, vaccinations are an essential part of pre-travel health planning. Influenza vaccinations are also recommended for anyone besides travellers. The effectiveness of influenza vaccinations varies from year to year, but they have been shown to reduce the risk of influenza-related hospitalisations and deaths.
- Booking an appointment for testing or vaccination is a simple process and can be done online or over the phone. Non-SC/non-PR visiting relatives can take vaccinations, but availability may vary, and it is advisable to check with the clinic before booking an appointment.
- These are essential vaccinations for travellers, but other vaccines can be useful as well. It’s important to talk with your doctor about what’s suitable for you and your trip.
- By taking necessary precautions and getting vaccinated, you can increase the likelihood of having a healthy and enjoyable trip.
- If you have any questions about travel vaccines, please contact us at email@example.com or 6965 6577.