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The Department of Infectious Diseases at Changi General Hospital (CGH), a member of the SingHealth group, shares about the common types of vaccines and who should get them. 

Types of vaccines and who should get them

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine

This is a “3-in-1” vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella – all potentially serious childhood diseases.

Adults born in 1957 or later should receive one or two doses of the MMR vaccine unless they have medical contraindications to the vaccine, laboratory evidence of immunity to each of the three diseases, or documented physician diagnosis of measles, mumps or rubella infection.

Recommended for

  • Healthcare workers, college students and international travellers

Hepatitis B vaccine

This vaccine prevents hepatitis, which is an infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It spreads through the exchange of blood or body fluid from sharing personal items, blood-taking or during sex. The virus stays in the liver of some people for the rest of their lives and can result in liver disease, including liver cancer.

Recommended for

  • Sexually active people and sex partners of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive persons
  • Healthcare workers, and those exposed to blood and body fluids
  • Adults below 60 years old diagnosed with diabetes
  • Adults with end-stage renal diseases, including those receiving haemodialysis, patients diagnosed with HIV and adults with chronic liver disease
  • Adults with household members and sex partners with chronic Hepatitis B infections
  • Anyone travelling to countries with high and intermediate prevalence of chronic Hepatitis B infection

Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Adults should receive two doses of varicella vaccine. Varicella, more commonly known as chickenpox, is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is highly contagious from one to two days before rash onset until all the rash have dried up.

Recommended for

  • Those in close contact with people at high risk for severe disease (e.g. a healthcare worker or family members of an immunocompromised person)
  • Those at high risk of exposure of transmission (e.g. healthcare workers, teachers, child-care employees, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, college students, military personnel, mothers, adolescents and adults in household with young children)
  • International travellers

Pneumococcal vaccine

This prevents pneumococcal diseases, which can result in infections such as:

  • Meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • Bacteremia and sepsis (blood infection)
  • Sinusitis (infection of the sinuses)
  • Otitis media (ear infection) Severe pneumococcal infections can lead to hearing loss, brain damage, paralysis and sometimes, even death.

Recommended for

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Adults 19 to 65 years with chronic lung disease (e.g. chronic obstructive lung disease or asthma), chronic cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic renal disease, chronic liver disease, alcoholism, HIV, cancer or asplenia (absence of spleen)

Influenza (flu) vaccine

This type of vaccine protects people against influenza, which is an infection caused by the influenza virus. It spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks (droplet transmission).

Recommended for

  • Everyone aged 6 months and older
  • Adults 65 years old and above
  • Adults with chronic medical conditions
  • Healthcare workers
  • International travellers

Ref: L20

See the previous page to learn how to separate fact from myth about vaccines.