Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Interview on Adult Vaccinations in TODAY paper

I was interviewed on TODAY on the important vaccinations for adults.

The problem with adult vaccinations is that there is no compulsion to get them done and a lot of adults don't even know that certain vaccinations exist. For example, there is a new vaccine against Cervical Cancer which is recommended for girls between 9 to 26 years of age. But there is a general lack of awareness of such a vaccine.  Similarly, the Ministry of Health also recommends for the elderly to get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease and influenza. But again, there are a lot of elderly who do not get their vaccinations done.

Below is the article, please click on the image to read.


Lynette Loh said...

Hi Dr Tay,

I agree that most adults do not go for their vaccinations because of price or ignorance. Another problem I feel that most adults are unaware of is the "expiry" of the vaccines. If I'm not mistaken, the Hep B vaccine has to be taken every 5 years for it to be worth anything when you're exposed to it. And I've even heard some people say that the chicken pox vaccine is not as good as getting the real thing or that it wouldn't stand the test if you're really exposed to the virus.

Maybe it would be helpful if a list of vaccines, their "shelf-life" in your body and at what age to take them, could be done up and posted on your blog or get it published somewhere.

Maybe if we could claim our Medisave for such vaccinations, it would be an added pull factor for people to think about protecting themselves and their families.

Btw, thanks for your site. I enjoy reading it and it has been pretty informative. And am enjoying your food blog too.

Dr Leslie said...

Thanks for your comment Lynette,

There is a misconception about chickenpox in the general public that it is better to have the illness rather than to get the vaccination. Yes, admittedly the chickenpox vaccine is not 100% protective and around 2 or 3 out of ten kids still get chickenpox after the vaccination but it is often a milder illness. But remember that if you vaccinate your child you have a 70 to 80% chance of never getting chickenpox! So those are very good odds.

For Hep B, the latest research has shown that no booster is necessary once it is shown that the patient has developed immunity against Hep B.

I will try to put up a schedule for adult vaccination in Singapore soon.