Children to get vaccinated at a younger age

PHOTO: Children to get vaccinated at a younger age

SINGAPORE - Upon a recommendation from the Expert Committee on Immunisation, children will receive both of the two required doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations at a younger age.

Starting from Dec 1, Singapore children will receive their first dose at 12 months of age, and the second between 15 to 18 months of age, a local news channel reported.

Previously, the first dose was given at 12 to 24 months, and the second dose between six to seven years of age.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said the earlier vaccinations and reducing the interval between the two doses will ensure almost all vaccinated children are sufficiently protected against measles earlier in their lives.

MMR vaccination is the most effective way to protect against measles, mumps and rubella, which are highly contagious childhood diseases that can cause serious health complications, and in the case of measles, even death.

MOH further advised that children who have started or completed their vaccinations with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) be given a supplemental dose of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).

PCV13 contains six additional pneumococcal serotypes, including the emergent serotype 19A.

This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal infection is one of the most common causes of pneumonia, infection of the brain membrane and middle ear infection in children.