Flu Shot In Singapore – Everything You Need To Know

by Dr Wenus Ho
Thursday, April 23, 2020

Influenza is a viral infection that is highly contagious and mainly affects the upper respiratory organs.

It is estimated by the World Health Organization that influenza (flu) kills half a million people globally every year. The worst flu pandemic in 1918 killed 50 million people worldwide.

The flu virus is easily transmitted from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or spits, and droplets produced by them land on the eyes, nose or mouth of the person nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their faces. Influenza is at its most contagious during yearly seasonal epidemics.

People who have the flu usually recover after a few days, but for certain high-risk groups, such as pregnant women, and people over the age of 65, complications can occur, and may even cause death.

Symptoms Of The Flu

Often mistaken for the common cold in the initial infection stage, as they share many similar symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. 

However, unlike the cold where symptoms tend to progress gradually, symptoms of the flu come suddenly. You may experience:

  • Fever over 38 ℃ (100.4 F)
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat

Some may experience more severe symptoms such as: 

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in your chest or belly
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe vomiting

Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms. 

Treatment Options For The Flu

For most patients, medical intervention is usually not required, and your general practitioner may advise you to: 

  • Get plenty of rest at home and take a few days off work.
  • Consume plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid physical contact with your friends and family members to prevent the infection from spreading.

Your doctor may give you some anti-viral medication if you belong to one of the following high-risk groups: 

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

Patients in the above groups have a higher chance of developing complications arising from the flu. 

Who Should Get Vaccinated For The Flu?

Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, it is recommended that you go for flu vaccination even if you are healthy, especially if you live with or take care of people belonging to high-risk groups.

In Singapore, MOH has informed medical practitioners to advise their patients on the importance of influenza vaccination for the following groups of people:

  • Children between six months and five years
  • Adults aged 65 years or older
  • Persons with chronic medical conditions

How Effective Is The Flu Vaccination

Flu vaccines are developed annually, and according to this CDC Effectiveness Report, the 2019-2020 flu vaccine reduces your chance of being infected by 50%.

Having the flu vaccination helps to rule out the differential flu diagnosis for the symptoms despite similar symptoms with COVID-19 and hence reduces the burden on testing as well as the health system.

Please contact your medical doctor to find out more about how this information affects you or your loved ones, and everyone has a different medical history, so effectiveness may vary.

Is The Flu Shot Safe For Pregnant Women?

Yes. 

Millions of pregnant women have been administered flu shots over the years with a good safety record. 

For pregnant women who would like more information, here are some studies that have been conducted on flu vaccine safety during pregnancy

Why Pregnant Women In Singapore Should Get The Flu Shot

Pregnant women are more likely to be susceptible to severe illness caused by the flu than non-pregnant women of reproductive age. 

Pregnant women experience changes in their immune system, heart, and lungs that make them more prone to developing severe illnesses from the flu, resulting in hospitalization. 

This 2018 study showed that pregnant women’s risks of getting hospitalized with the flu were reduced by almost 40%. 

As antibodies are passed onto the developing baby by the mother during pregnancy, the flu shot can also protect your baby for the first few months after they’re born, when they’re too young to get vaccinated.

How Much Is The Flu Vaccine In Singapore

You can get the quadrivalent (4-in-1) flu shot at any of our clinics at Fusion Medical for $37.45 Nett. Please contact us to book an appointment

Can You Use Medisave For Flu Shot (Please vet this section for accuracy)

Yes, Medisave can be used for flu shots for the following groups of people: 

  • Persons aged 65 years or older;
  • Persons aged 18 years and older and receiving long-term aspirin therapy;
  • Persons who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, asthma, and heart disease;
  • Persons who are immunocompromised;
  • Persons receiving intermediate and long term care services;
  • Women at all stages of pregnancy.

Fusion Medical is a Medisave accredited clinic, call us to find out more about the flu shot.

When Is The Flu Season In Singapore?

In Singapore, the flu season is generally during the cooler months with rain, such as May – July, and December – February. 

It is generally advisable to get your flu shot before the flu season starts. 

The flu vaccination is available at any of our Fusion Medical clinics located at Wheelock and Nexus. Please contact us to find out more information.

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