From November 1, 2009, Medisave can be used to pay for pneumococcal vaccination of children.
MOH has accepted the recommendations of its Expert Committee on Immunisation to include the pneumococcal vaccination as the 10th vaccine in our National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP).
The current pneumococcal immunization coverage is about 20% of all newborns. With the inclusion of this vaccine in the NCIP, this will further reduce morbidity and mortality of invasive pneumococcal diseases in the long run.
Parents can use their Baby Bonus cash gift and/or savings in their Child Development Accounts (CDA) to pay for all vaccinations, including pneumococcal vaccinations, at Baby Bonus approved medical institutions. The Baby Bonus and CDA can also be used to pay for siblings’ vaccination.
To further support this programme, parents will be able to use their Medisave for their children’s pneumococcal vaccinations. This will take effect from November 1, 2009. To protect the original purpose of Medisave which is to help pay hospitalization expenses, a withdrawal limit of $300 per Medisave account per year will be imposed. Existing Medisave use for Hepatitis B vaccinations will also be included under this annual $300 per account limit. There will be no co-payment or deductible required for the pneumococcal and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
Under the NCIP schedule, children will need three doses of the vaccine before they turn 2. MOH recommends catch-up vaccination for all children under 5 years of age. Baby Bonus, CDA and Medisave can also be used to pay for the catch-up immunization.
Immunisation can be done at GPs, polyclinics or pediatricians. Needy parents with insufficient Medisave balances can seek special financial assistance at the polyclinics.