The Ministry of Health has resumed the use of the 2 brands of influenza vaccine that they had temporarily advised to stop. This was following reports of deaths in South Korea after influenza vaccination. Based on information released by the South Korean authorities on 29 Oct 20, the likelihood of a causal link between influenza vaccination and the deaths reported was determined to be low. The MOH has now assessed that these 2 vaccines are also safe to use.
For the current Northern Hemisphere influenza season, IMC is only using Fluarix Tetra which has not been involved in the temporary cessation.
The Ministry of Health has advised that influenza vaccination can be continued with Fluarix Tetra and other brands available in Singapore. All vaccines approved for use in Singapore have been evaluated by the Health Science Authority to ensure that they meet the required international standards of quality, safety and efficacy.
Influenza vaccination provides protection against seasonal influenza viruses and is effective in reducing the risk of complications and deaths due to influenza. We recommend influenza vaccination to all patients and especially for patients who are more vulnerable to complications from influenza. This includes:
- Persons aged 65 years or older
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- Women at all stages of pregnancy
- Adults and children who have chronic diseases including asthma, diabetes and other chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, brain or blood or have a compromised immune system
- Children and adolescents aged 6 months to 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy