Have you taken your flu shot?

Frontier Healthcare

The year-end school holidays and festive season is round the corner. While you are busy preparing for the festivities and holiday trips, there might be something on your to-do list which may have overlooked. And that is, your year-end or Northern Hemisphere flu shot.

In Singapore, the Northern Hemisphere flu season generally occurs between November and February. And the Southern Hemisphere is from May to July. But what is the Flu Vaccine (generally referred to as the “flu jab”), who should take it and when should one take it?

These are some common yet pertinent questions, so let us take some time to review these queries which can help you make a decision if you are considering taking the flu jab.

What is Influenza?

Influenza or the “flu” as what it is commonly referred to is a contagious viral disease that can affect anyone. It attacks the respiratory track causing inflammation of the mucous membranes and symptoms include sudden fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, cough, and headache. A severe case of the flu can lead to pneumonia (infection of the lungs), as well as other complications such as bronchitis (inflammation of the lungs), sinusitis (infection of the nasal passages) and meningitis (inflammation of the lining that covers the brain).

Yearly vaccination is recommended as flu viruses are constantly changing, and your body’s immunity to flu viruses may decline over time. Thus, getting vaccinated every year provides the best protection against influenza.

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How do you get infected with the flu virus?

The flu virus can be spread through air droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. The viruses can also be spread indirectly when a person touches a surface with the flu viruses on it.

Is it necessary to take the flu vaccine even though you have taken the Covid vaccine?

The Covid vaccines and the flu vaccines protect against different viruses. Hence, it is recommended that you take both. However, a two-week interval is recommended between both vaccines or if you have recently covered from Covid.

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Who should take the flu vaccine?

The flu jab is recommended for everyone and especially in people who are at high risk of developing influenza complications such as:

  • Elderly aged 65 years and older
  • Pregnant women in any trimester
  • Persons with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or heart, lung, liver and kidney disease
  • Persons with lower body resistance to infections such as those are taking long-term steroids, are undergoing cancer treatment, or had undergone organ transplant.
  • Children aged 6 months old to 59 months



Flu vaccination is subsidised at CHAS GP clinics for all Singaporeans who are in the high-risk groups. Patients in high-risk groups include:

  • Children 6 – 59 months and any child who is in the high-risk groups may get an annual flu shot at no cost
  • Singaporean seniors age 65 and above and adults who are in the high-risk groups

Who does not need to take the current Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine?

If you have taken the Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine in the earlier part of this year, you do not need to take the current Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine.

Are there side effects to the flu jab?

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Common side effects include fever, myalgia (muscle aches and pain), malaise (general sense of discomfort or feeling unwell) or redness and pain over injection site. These symptoms usually last a day or two. If the symptoms persist or if you feel unwell, please consult a Doctor.

Take care of your health and those of your loved ones. Take the flu jab if you are eligible and if in doubt, always consult your Family Doctor.


About Frontier Healthcare Group

Frontier Healthcare (as part of the Qualitas Primary Care Division) runs 18 GP clinics, 2 Family Medicine Clinics (Clementi and MacPherson) and has 37 affiliated GP clinics under its Frontier Primary Care Network Program. Frontier Healthcare supports national schemes such as the Community Health Assist Scheme (Pioneer, Merdeka, CHAS Green, CHAS Orange, CHAS Blue), Baby Bonus, Healthier SG, MBS@Gov etc, as well as partnerships with major Insurers, Corporates and TPA partners to bring quality and affordable healthcare closer to the community.