Parliamentary Replies

May 06, 2019

Facts regarding vaccines

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Joan Pereira, Tanjong Pagar GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education whether the Ministry will implement public education programmes to inform parents and students about the facts regarding vaccines so that they can make informed choices regarding voluntary vaccines.

Response

1. Parents have been supportive of the school-based vaccination programmes, and there is high take-up of vaccines offered in schools. For example, the take-up rate of vaccination against second booster doses of diphtheria as well as the vaccination against polio, both offered in schools at Primary 5, are above 90% each. For the recently rolled out Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination, the opt-in rate has been slightly over 90% for the first 25 schools covered so far. In addition, measles vaccination coverage among resident children is at 93% for the second dose at 7 years of age.

2. We want to encourage high vaccination take-up rates to achieve herd immunity, so as to protect against the outbreak of potentially serious diseases such as measles, diphtheria and polio. The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) conduct public education programmes to the general public as well as to parents and students to ensure continued support for the vaccination programmes. For example, through HealthHub, HPB’s online health information portal, members of the public can access information on immunisation as well as details on age-appropriate immunisation for children.

3. For school-based vaccination programmes like the HPV vaccination, the Ministry of Education (MOE) supports HPB in the distribution of an information package prior to the school visit for HPV vaccination, to enable parents to make informed choices. The information package includes a factsheet on HPV vaccination, a brochure on the risk and prevention of HPV, and a letter providing information on the HPV school-based programme. MOE will continue to work with MOH to sustain support for vaccinations offered in schools.