The Singapore Situation  

Fast Facts:

  • In Malaysia and Singapore, one in twelve people are chronic carriers.
  • The rest of the population are either susceptible to hepatitis B or have been infected in the past and have recovered.
  • Singapore was one of the first countries to integrate HBV vaccine administration into existing expanded childhood primary immunization program.
  • Click Here to view a detailed chart of the childhood primary immunization program.
  • Hepatitis B screening and vaccination are available in all government polyclinics.
  • At polyclinics, cost of hepatitis B screening: $20.00, and
  • Cost of hepatitis B vaccination: For ages below 40: $35.00 for three injections
  •                                                    For ages above 40: $50.00 for three injections
  • Click Here to view vaccination details.
  • Click Here to find out the operating hours of Singapore medical clinics.
  • Private medical clinics may charge different prices for hepatitis B screening and vaccination.
  • Through close operation between practitioners and public health sectors, universal coverage has been achieved, and this has resulted in a decline in the prevalence of HBV in young adults in Singapore from between 6 to 8% in 1983 to 3% in 1990.
  • Primary liver cancer (PLC) is the third most common cancer in Singapore, and the second most common cancer among males in Singapore.
  • PLC in Singapore continues to take the lives of many adults, mainly because of its late presentation, with treatment started only after symptoms have arisen.

C.J.Oon, 1991, Landmarks in the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B virus infection
C.J.Oon, 1986, Prevention and control of primary liver cancer
C.J.Oon, 1992, Long-term survival following treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma in Singapore: evaluation of Welleron in the prophylaxis of high-risk pre-cancerous conditions
Public information pamphlet by SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals
Singapore Ministry of Health website

Contributor: Mr Kao in 1997

This article is reproduced for the benefit of the public.
Copyright @ 2001 Singapore Press Holdings
Singapore Straits Times
NOV 3, 2001

Rethink Hep B vaccination scheme

THE mass Hepatitis B vaccination programme has been going on for some time, being
implemented mainly among students and infants.

Over the past months, many newspaper reports and advertisements have been made
towards promoting mass Hepatitis B screen-ing and immunisation locally.

I would like to ask the health authorities to look into the risks of receiving Hepatitis B
vaccines and review the present mass-immunisation programme.

In the past, as students, we were given no option but simply herded to receive BCG
vaccination without being advised on its risks.

Yet, in a report in The Sunday Plus on July 1, readers were informed that the BCG
vaccine we received at age 12 has been discontinued as it has been shown to offer no
protection against adult tuberculosis.

Contrary to popular notions, vaccines are not as safe and effective as they are claimed to

From what I know:

The Hepatitis B virus is basically a blood-borne pathogen and it is sexually

Based on statistics in the United States, the two major groups at risk are the sexually
promiscuous and injecting drug users. Together, sex and drugs accounted for
approximately 96 per cent of all Hepatitis B transmissions.

The other 4 per cent were predominantly medical and public-safety personnel who were
infected through contact with blood or contaminated needles. Infants were nowhere on
that risk list.

Ninety-eight per cent of the people who became infected with Hepatitis B (in the
ways noted above) developed lifelong immunity, never became seriously ill, and never
passed their infections to others.

The Hepatitis B vaccine makers at Merck admitted that a full one third of those
vaccinated received no benefit whatsoever.

Subsequent injections commonly failed to prompt immunity against Hepatitis B as well.

For the other two thirds of recipients who developed immunity against the virus, this
immunity wore off about every seven to 10 years.

In the leaflet that accompanies the vaccine package, the adverse effects of the
Hepatitis B vaccine are listed. Among them: - Approximately 17 per cent of vaccine
recipients developed a little redness and swelling at the site of injection;- About 14 per
cent developed a little cold or flu-like symptom that lasted a few days.- Between 9 and
11 per cent reacted even more seriously with pharyngitis and upper-respiratory-tract
infections.- Five to 8 per cent were affected more adversely, with the risk of possibly
long-term chronic health consequences, including auto-immune diseases. - Between 2
and 5 per cent of vaccine recipients experienced delayed, long-term, often severe and/or
life-threatening illnesses.- Less than 1 per cent sustained serious injuries, including
chronic crippling rheumatoid arthritis, encephalopathies hyperactivity disorders, and

In October 1998, France became the first country to end Hepatitis B vaccination
requirements for school children, after reports that many children were developing
chronic arthritis and symptoms resembling multiple sclerosis following the administration
of the vaccine.

The National Vaccine Information Center in the US released figures in 1999 showing
that the number of Hepatitis B vaccine-associated adverse events and deaths reported
in US children under the age of 14 is exceptionally high, significantly outnumbering the
reported cases of Hepatitis B disease in that same age group.

I see no need to encourage Hepatitis B vaccination on a mass scale on such shaky

In addition, there are numerous natural diets, supplements, remedies and regimens that
are known to boost the body's natural immune system to have a preventive and
therapeutic effect against diseases and viruses, Hepatitis B included.

As such, I urge local health professionals to explore further in this direction.

I would also suggest that the authorities follow the example of France: to re-examine
and, if necessary, to withdraw the present mass Hepatitis B vaccination programme

The authorities should ensure that the benefits together with the risks of the Hepatitis
B vaccine are presented clearly so that every citizen may make an informed decision
towards his own health. Consideration should also be taken to lift the immunisation
policy on compulsory infant vaccination so that parents can opt their newborn out of
such risky activities.

The guidelines and regulations on vaccines issued by the World Health Organisation
should not be followed blindly when the long-term health of our people is at stake.

A thorough analysis of the risks and benefits should be conducted by independent
immunology experts locally before approving the use of each vaccine.

I would also suggest that the public do its own research before consenting to receiving
vaccines of any type. A great place to start is


The Nov 3 2001 article is
Copyright @ 2001 Singapore Press Holdings.

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