The Health Appointment System (HAS) will expand to include Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccinations.
Eligible Singaporean women aged 18 to 26 can now easily make an appointment for HPV2 vaccinations at participating clinics, Minister Josephine Teo revealed during the Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Feb. 24.
“This will make it easier for our women to protect themselves through vaccinations,” Teo, who is the Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, said.
System launched in Aug. 2022
HAS was launched in Aug. 2022 to enable more accessible pneumococcal vaccination appointments amongst those 65 and older. HAS expanded in Nov. 2022 to offer flu vaccination appointments.
In tandem with the Health Promotion Board’s (HPB) education efforts, in less than four months since launch, over 40,000 pneumococcal and flu vaccination appointments have already been made on HAS.
Eligible Singaporean females aged 18 to 26 can expect to pay less than S$45 per dose of the subsidised HPV2 vaccination at Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) General Practitioners (GP).
To improve accessibility and the take-up rate of HPV vaccinations, Temasek Foundation, in partnership with the Singapore Cancer Society, is fully funding the remaining co-payment for those holding valid Blue or Orange CHAS cards.
Cervical cancer, the tenth most common cancer among Singaporean women, is the fourth leading cause of death in women ages 15 to 44.
More than 2.4 million women are at risk of contracting the HPV, and almost all cervical cancer cases are due to HPV.
The most effective way to reduce the risk of cervical cancer is to get vaccinated against HPV and do regular cervical cancer screenings from the age of 25 onwards.
HPV2 is a government-subsidised HPV vaccine in Singapore and provides protection against HPV types 16 and 18, which account for 70 per cent of all cervical cancers.
In Nov. 2020, the Ministry of Health implemented enhanced subsidies at CHAS GP clinics and polyclinics for vaccinations under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule, which includes HPV2 vaccinations for 18 to 26 year-old Singaporean women.
Under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule, all females aged 18 to 26 are recommended to get three doses of the HPV vaccination.
However, the take up amongst females ages 20 to 26 today has remained relatively low, with close to 1 in 5 women having received the HPV vaccination.
HAS is intended to boost citizen’ accessibility to clinics with both vaccine supply and available vaccination appointment slots. Bookings can be made at this link.
Top photo via Unsplash