The Ultimate Singaporean's Guide to Travel Vaccinations: How Much and Where to Get Them
 
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The Ultimate Singaporean's Guide to Travel Vaccinations: How Much and Where to Get Them

Kenneth Fong
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You know how some of us leave packing or buying travel insurance to the very last minute?

Well…

Here’s something critical that many of us never really think about.

Get Your Vaccination Today Poster
Source: Giphy

Yep.

Travel vaccinations.

I mean, who would want to fall sick overseas?

Especially when you’re on holiday?

So… should you go to the hospital, polyclinic, or private clinic for your vaccination shots?

And how much does it cost to be adequately protected?

I gotchu fam.


TL;DR: Travel Vaccinations You Should Get and How Much They Cost

Travel VaccinationDose(s)Public HospitalsPolyclinicsPrivate Hospitals & Clinics
Hepatitis A2$85.60 to $136$160 to $175.66$156 to $232.20
Hepatitis B3$75 to $186$90.90 to $119.52$102 to $125.52
Influenza1$35 to $38$32 to $33.90$28.66 to $35
Japan Encephalitis1 to 2$240 to $790N.A.$44.88 to $89.76
(N.A. at some clinics)
Meningococcal1$72 to $100$71.30 to $75.58$100 to $137.95
Rabies3 to 5$480 to $1,140N.A.$507 to $1,066
Typhoid1$18 to $40$28.50 to $30.21$35 to $36.38
Yellow Fever1$140 to $198N.A.$200 to $206

In general, going to the public hospitals is probably the best option as they have the widest selection of travel vaccines and they’re decently priced.

Polyclinics are probably the most convenient but they may not have all the travel vaccinations you need.

Private hospitals and clinics often provide 24-hour service so that’s worth considering if you can’t take time off work to get your shots.

It’s best to plan in advance so you can get your vaccinations nice and early.

Always call to check if they have stocks for the travel vaccine you need before heading down.

And always make an appointment to avoid disappointment (see what I did there?).

Other Things to Note

According to the Ministry of Health (MOH), travel vaccinations are best scheduled at least four to six weeks prior to travel.

And that’s because most vaccines take one to two weeks to become effective.

Some even need to be given in two or three doses, which must be completed in order to provide full protection.


Recommended Travel Vaccinations to Get

globe

Planning to travel soon?

These are the Singapore General Hospital’s recommended vaccinations for travellers visiting the following countries.

China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia

Travel Vaccinations To Take For China, India, Vietnam Indonesia
Routine Vaccinations
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Influenza
Japanese Encephalitis*
Rabies*
(highly recommended)
Typhoid
Anti-malarial medications

South America

Travel Vaccinations To Take For South America
Routine Vaccinations
Yellow Fever
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Influenza
Japanese Encephalitis*
Rabies*
(highly recommended)
Typhoid
Anti-malarial medications*

Africa

Travel Vaccinations To Take For Africa
Routine Vaccinations
Yellow Fever
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Influenza
Rabies*
(highly recommended)
Typhoid
Anti-malarial medications*

Saudi Arabia

Travel Vaccinations To Take For Saudi Arabia
Routine Vaccinations
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Typhoid
Influenza
(highly recommended)
Meningococcal
(recommended)
Rabies*
(highly recommended)
Anti-malarial medications*

Note: Routine vaccinations refers to diptheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, and tetanus.

* Risk depends on the area of travel in the country

Common Types of Travel Vaccinations

Medicine

Hepatitis A (Hep B)

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver which causes it to become inflamed and tender.

It is usually spread via:

  • contaminated food and drink (think: raw or partially-cooked cockles)
  • contact with infected people (especially in developing countries with poor sanitation and overcrowding)

Symptoms include:

  • dark-coloured urine
  • fever
  • itchy skin
  • jaundice
  • loss of appetite
  • pale stools
  • prolonged fatigue
  • nausea and vomiting

Overall, Hep A is seldom serious and the body will recover within 3 to 4 weeks.

Hepatitis B (Hep B)

Hepatitis B is Hepatitis A but on steroids.

If you’re infected, it can lead to liver cirrhosis (permanent scarring and hardening), failure, and even cancer.

The symptoms are similar to Hepatitis A.

Even though we receive the vaccine as soon as we’re born, the validity of the vaccination only lasts for about 5 years.

So it’s best you get yourself checked before travelling.

Note: some hospitals and clinics offer a Hep A and Hep B combined vaccine which might be more economical

Influenza

Getting a flu vaccination helps reduce the chance of getting influenza, or aka the flu.

This is a contagious viral disease that causes:

  • chills
  • fevers
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • sore throat

Influenza is spread by close contact, coughing, or sneezing.

Typhoid

A life-threatening disease that is transmitted by bacteria — usually through contaminated food and water.

This disease causes:

  • abdominal pains
  • fever
  • nausea

Highly recommended if you’re visiting rural or developing areas, or a place where there is poor sanitation.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral illness that is spread by infected mosquitoes.

This vaccination is a MUST-HAVE if you’re travelling to Africa or South America.

And you’ll need to carry proof of your vaccination in the form of a yellow booklet:

Yellow Fever Booklet
Source: SHYH + YING RTW 2014 | WordPress

The booklet will also include a record of all of your other vaccinations and costs about $15.

On top of the vaccination.

And consultation costs at the clinic or hospital.


Cost of Travel Vaccinations in Singapore

Dollar Bill And Coins

The last thing you would want when on a holiday is to suffer from “travellers diarrhoea”.

Or more serious (touchwood) stuff like cholera, malaria, or yellow fever.

And if you find yourself in a country where healthcare costs are high for foreigners.

Then you might end up paying more than what you would have forked out for a simple flu shot at your local clinic.

Better be safe than sorry, right?

Note: the prices listed below are estimates given and correct only as of the time of writing. Please call the respective hospital or clinic before heading down to check for availability and prices.

Travel Vaccination Price at Public Hospitals

Exterior of Singapore General Hospital
Source: Straits Times

If you want access to the full suite of travel vaccinations, your best bet would be the hospital.

For travel vaccinations specifically, you’ll want to look for the respective hospital’s travel clinic.

VaccinationPrice per doseDose(s)Total Price
Hepatitis A$42.80 to $682$85.60 to $136
Hepatitis B$25 to $623$75 to $186
Influenza$35 to $381$35 to $38
Japan Encephalitis$240 to $3801 to 2$240 to $790
Meningococcal$72 to $1001$72 to $100
Rabies$160 to $2283 to 5$480 to $1,140
Typhoid$18 to $401$18 to $40
Yellow Fever$140 to $1981$140 to $198

Note: the prices listed are before GST and not inclusive of consultation charges (where applicable).

Changi General Hospital Medical Centre For Travellers

Contact: 6850 3333

National University Hospital Traveller’s Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC)

Contact: 6772 8600

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

Contact: 6717 2000 (this is for general enquiries, the travel clinic has no direct line)

Singapore General Hospital Travel Clinic

Contact: 6326 6723

Tan Tock Seng Hospital Traveller’s Health & Vaccination Clinic (THVC)

Contact: 6357 2222

Travel Vaccination Price at Polyclinics

Exterior of NHG Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Source: Straits Times

The polyclinics are the most convenient as you can probably find one in your neighbourhood.

Regardless of which polyclinic you choose to visit, the prices of the vaccinations are the same as long as it’s within the same group.

However, they usually do not carry a wide range of travel vaccines.

Popular vaccinations like influenza are usually out of stock depending on time when you’re travelling (especially during holiday season).

Oh, the polyclinics also close early during the weekdays.

So if you’re thinking of getting your shots after work…

You might want to schedule an appointment for Saturday instead.

VaccinationPrice per dose
(Singhealth)
Price per dose
(National Healthcare Group)
Dose(s)Total price
Hepatitis A$81.10$802$160 to $175.66
Hepatitis B$30.30$403$90.90 to $119.52
Influenza$32$33.901$32 to $33.90
Japan EncephalitisN.A.
Meningococcal$75.58$71.30 1$71.30 to $75.58
RabiesN.A.
Typhoid$30.21$28.501$28.50 to $30.21
Yellow FeverN.A.

Note: the prices listed are before GST (absorbed for Singapore citizens) and not inclusive of consultation charges (where applicable).

Singhealth Polyclinics (SGP)

Contact: 6643 6969

Hours: 8am to 1pm, 2pm to 4:30pm (Mon to Fri) | 8am to 12:30pm (Sat)

National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP)

Contact: 6355 3000

Hours: 8am to 1pm, 2pm to 4:30pm (Mon to Fri) | 8am to 12:30pm (Sat)

Travel Vaccination Price at Private Clinics & Hospitals

Raffles Medical 24 Hour Clinic at Changi Airport Terminal 3
Source: Raffles Medical

Private clinics and hospitals are probably your best bet if you can’t find a public hospital or polyclinic nearby.

Similar to public hospitals and polyclinics, private hospitals usually carry more vaccinations than private clinics.

VaccinationPrice per dose
(Parkway Shenton - Mt Elizabeth)
Price per dose
(Raffles Medical - Changi Airport T3)
Dose(s)Total price
Hepatitis A$116.10$782$156 to $232.20
Hepatitis B$41.84$343$102 to $125.52
Influenza$28.66$351$28.66 to $35
Japan Encephalitis$44.88N.A.1 to 2$44.88 to $89.76
Meningococcal$137.95$1001$100 to $137.95
Rabies$213.20$1693 to 5$507 to $1,066
Typhoid$36.38$351$35 to $36.38
Yellow Fever~$200~$2061$200 to $206

Raffles Medical Group – 24 Hour Clinic @ Changi Airport Terminal 3

Contact: 6241 8818 (Changi Airport Terminal 3 clinic pharmacy) | 6311 2122 (general enquiries)

Parkway Shenton Medical Group – Mount Elizabeth Hospital

Contact: 6731 2200 (Mt Elizabeth pharmacy) | 6735 5000 (general enquiries)


Can I Use Medisave to Pay for Travel Vaccination?

Under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), Singaporean adults aged 18 years and older can use their Medisave for approved vaccinations.

Thankfully, the Medisave500 scheme allows you to use up to $500 in your Medisave yearly for 7 types of vaccines covered by the NAIS.

Vaccine18 to 26 years old27 to 64 years oldMore than 65 years old
Hepatitis B3 doses
Human papillomavirus (HPV)3 doses-
Influenza1 dose annually1 dose annually
Measles, mumps, and rubella2 doses
Pneumococcal1 or 2 doses1 dose each of PCV13 and PPSV23
Tetanus, diptheria, and pertusis1 dose for each pregnancy
Varicella2 doses

You’ll notice that you can only use Medisave to pay for Influenza and Hepatitis B vaccinations.

Which means that the majority of travel vaccines cannot be paid for with Medisave.

So… Does Travel Insurance Cover Vaccinations?

After calling and speaking to a couple of the major insurance companies, it seems like it’s not a common thing for travel insurance to cover travel vaccinations.

Side note: if you know of any obscure travel insurance policies which do have this perk, please let me know and I’ll list it here for everyone’s benefit!


About the Wuhan Coronavirus(2019-nCov) Situation

Crowd Crossing The Road With Some Wearing Masks
Source: Channel News Asia

Now, to address the elephant in the room.

There is currently NO vaccine available for the Wuhan Coronavirus.

However, if you have plans to travel…

You SHOULD still get your travel vaccinations in order to protect yourself from other diseases and illnesses.

Should I Still Travel to China?

MOH has issued an advisory for Singaporeans to defer all travel to Hubei province as well as non-essential travel to Mainland China.

What If I’m Already Travelling?

MOH recommends that you should monitor your health closely for two weeks upon return to Singapore.

If you feel unwell, you should seek medical attention immediately!

If you have a fever, are coughing or experience shortness of breath, you should wear a surgical mask and call the clinic ahead to inform them of your visit.

Let your doctor know your travel history as well.

Are There Any Precautions to Adopt?

People Wearing Face Masks On The Street
Source: Channel News Asia

Whether you’re travelling or not, here are some precautions to take:

  • Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds
  • Avoid consumption of raw and undercooked meats
  • Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell
  • Observe good personal hygiene
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap – especially when handling food or your hands are soiled by respiratory secretions
  • Wear a surgical mask if you are coughing or have a runny nose
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing and dispose of it properly immediately
  • Seek medical attention promptly if you’re feeling unwell

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About Kenneth Fong
Editor of Seedly's blog. Owner of a 4-room HDB BTO and married to a financial clutz. Probably the closest to an adult you can find on the Seedly team.
You can contribute your thoughts like Kenneth Fong here.

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