Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Empowering immunity

Find out more about vaccinations and the infections they combat.

A key aspect of Healthier SG, vaccination is a vital component of developing a health plan that includes lifestyle adjustments and regular health screening. Vaccines have been proven to be a successful, safe and effective way to protect our community against serious and life-threatening diseases. They can help to prevent serious complications and premature death, especially among vulnerable and high-risk groups such as seniors and persons with certain medical conditions.

Experts from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Department of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Changi General Hospital (CGH), share more about some common vaccinations.


There are four strains of the dengue virus, which is transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. You can be infected with dengue as many as four times in your life, because of the different dengue strains. The majority of these infections are asymptomatic or produce only mild illness, but occasionally, there can be more severe cases, some of which may even prove fatal.

  • The most commonly-administered dengue vaccine in Singapore is given by injection as a series of three doses, each six months apart.
  • It is recommended for individuals who have been previously infected with dengue. The vaccine does not provide 100 per cent protection from the virus — preventing and controlling its spread also plays an important role. This includes ensuring that there is no stagnant water (which is conducive for mosquito breeding) around.



The flu (or influenza) is different from the common cold and is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. It is caused by a group of influenza viruses, predominantly types A and B.

  • Each year’s flu vaccine production begins about six to nine months before the upcoming flu season. Twice a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) organises meetings for experts to determine the composition of the flu vaccine for the upcoming flu seasons due to the ability of the virus to genetically mutate itself to form new sub-types.
  • The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone, especially those who are at a higher risk of developing influenza complications, such as seniors aged 65 years and above, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and children aged 6 months to 59 months. It takes at least two weeks after vaccination for effective protection to develop.

Pneumococcal disease

Pneumococcal disease is caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium. The disease can be life-threatening, and involves infections of the lungs (pneumonia), the membrane covering the brain (meningitis) and other serious infections. This is spread through direct contact with another person’s respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus.

  • Vaccinations play an important role in protecting younger children, seniors and those with specific medical conditions against pneumococcal disease.
  • As part of Singapore’s National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), infants are given three doses of the pneumococcal vaccine within their first year. Pneumococcal vaccination is also part of Singapore’s National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS). The number of doses an adult requires depends on their age and pre-existing medical conditions.


Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles manifests in the form of a burning pain of extreme sensitivity in one area of the skin, rash as well as fluid-filled blisters. The virus is spread through direct contact with fluid from these blisters.

  • While children in Singapore receive the chickenpox vaccine as part of the NCIS, shingles requires a different vaccine.
  • It is recommended for adults aged 50 and above, and young adults 19 years old and above with a weakened immune system due to disease or treatment. It is administered in two doses two to six months apart.


Empowering immunity