60 elderly Teck Ghee residents to get $2 pneumonia vaccine
About 60 elderly residents in Teck Ghee will be vaccinated against pneumonia tomorrow as part of a three-year prevention programme to raise awareness of the illness.
Individuals who receive the vaccine will be immune from pneumonia for about 10 years.
The Rotary Club of Pandan Valley (RCPV), The Good Life Cooperative and the Teck Ghee Active Ageing Committee, which are behind the initiative, hope to vaccinate a total of 300 less privileged senior citizens by 2020.
RCPV president Tan Tock Chen said the estimated cost of a vaccination is $180, but those selected need to pay only $2.
RCPV has raised $60,000 for the project.
Mr Tan, 70, added: "Most senior citizens don't know they can reduce their chances of getting pneumonia, (which) is a serious killer not just in Singapore, but worldwide."
Ministry of Health statistics list pneumonia as the second highest cause of death and the third highest cause of hospitalisation in Singapore in 2016.
Geriatrician Carol Tan, 56, said projects such as this will help keep healthcare costs down, a key concern with Singapore's rapidly ageing population.
Dr Tan, who is also a member of RCPV, said prevention is not just about eating healthily and exercising.
"It also includes getting vaccinated, which lowers the risk of contracting the illness," she said.
Madam Tan, 68, a retiree who will be going for the vaccination, said: "It is worth it to pay just $2 to be kept safe from pneumonia for 10 years." - LUCAS WONG