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Get vaccinated against flu, shingles as you shop

Kash Cheong on 29 Oct 2014

The Straits Times


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Go shopping. Watch a movie. Then get a flu or shingles vaccination at a mall.


In a first effort to make vaccinations accessible in retail settings, Guardian pharmacy is teaming up with health-care group Parkway Shenton to provide such jabs at four of its high-traffic outlets.


Blood tests and health screenings, all administered by Parkway Shenton nurses, are also available at Northpoint City, Serangoon nex, Ngee Ann City and Great World City malls.


And cervical cancer vaccinations and medical consultations could be offered in the future.


"This will cater to the hectic lifestyles of Singaporeans who may not have time to visit the doctor's," said Guardian's chief executive, Ms Sarah Boyd, who inked a two-year agreement with Parkway Shenton yesterday.


The jabs will be done in a private room and are expected to take about 10 minutes. Those interested can make an appointment at any Guardian outlet.


The wait to get vaccinated should be much shorter than in polyclinics, said Ms Boyd.


But it comes at a price. A flu jab at Guardian will cost $30, which is $5 more than at polyclinics. Shingles vaccinations will cost about $280, $40 more than at hospitals like Tan Tock Seng.


But seniors above 50 may get discounts with a specialised card, said Guardian.


And for the needy, 1,000 low-income elderly folk will be given flu vaccinations for free.


"Some elderly folk don't even think about vaccinations because they are pre-emptive," said Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who is also chairman of the People's Action Party Seniors Group.


"But they may be at higher risk of complications if they get the flu."


Influenza is associated with about 600 deaths in Singapore every year, mainly among those above 65 years old.


Part-time salesman Tong Tuck Kwang, 75, is one of those who never thought of vaccinations.


"I've been healthy all my life," he explained after getting a free flu jab at Guardian's Ngee Ann City outlet yesterday.


"But it's better to get it done because I don't know what might happen in future."


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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