Apart from the usual adjustments new parents need to make after the baby is born, there are also a whole host of other administrative questions. One of the most common ones is “What sorts of health checks should I expect my baby to have and what immunisations do I need to plan for?” In Singapore, there is a standard set of vaccinations that you can expect your child’s doctor to recommend.   

What is Immunisation?

Immunisation takes place when a medical professional gives your child a vaccine. This vaccine encourages your child’s body to produce antibodies which will protect them from a particular, infectious disease so that in future, if your child is exposed to the disease, your child’s body will be able to fight off the infection and hopefully your child will be protected from the disease.

Why Should You Immunise Your Child?

Vaccinating your child against common childhood diseases is recommended by health organisations such as the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in Singapore, as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Immunising your children will protect them from serious diseases which may lead to life long or even life threatening complications. Immunising a whole population stops the disease from spreading and may even lead to the eradication of the disease. This was the case for small pox which was eradicated in many parts of the world after the introduction of a global immunisation programme which ran from 1967 to 1980.

In Singapore, some vaccinations are mandatory. Your family doctor, paediatrician or a health professional at the polyclinic will be able to advise you on which vaccinations are compulsory.  

Recommended Vaccinations

Under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP), immunisations against 10 diseases are fully subsidised and offered free of charge at any of Singapore’s polyclinics to all children who are Singapore citizens. 

The 10 recommended immunisations are:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis
  • Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
  • Poliomyelitus
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B

In addition to the 10 listed immunisations, optional vaccinations may also be recommended by your physician. The most common of these are: chickenpox, influenza, rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccinations. 

Vaccination Procedures

In addition to information from your doctor, you can also check the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule, Singapore website for information on when each vaccination should take place and how many doses are required. After each vaccination, your doctor will either issue you with a certificate of vaccination, or note it down in the records section of your child’s health book. Once your child starts primary school, the Student Health Service (SHS) will also follow up and administer the vaccinations which are required for each appropriate age group. 

In addition to this, Singapore’s National Immunisation Registry (NIR) keeps a track of all the immunisations your child has received from birth until the age of 18 . All polyclinics, family doctors and paediatricians  are required to update NIR whenever your child receives a vaccination. If your child should happen to miss a vaccination, the NIR will send a letter to you to remind you of the need to arrange an appointment for one. 

Tags: Health Matters /Child Development