Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Baby's Immunisation at Polyclinics

So here's the low down on what you need to know regarding getting your baby's necessary jabs at your nearest polyclinic for FREE instead of paying for them at your GP or pediatrician.

Is the waiting time long???
NO! Not at all.

There is an express queue for newborns just mention that your baby is a newborn (under 6 weeks) to the staff issuing you the queue number. You will get a queue ticket with letter X followed by a number. This means you're straight away the next in line, to register, or to see doctor, or to collect meds or to pay. So you don't have to wait long.

But even if your baby is past 6 weeks the wait is still not long at all. And all jabs are by appointment only. They do stagger the appointments a good amount of time apart so it's not like at some clinics where you go at your appointed time and then there's like 5 people already in front of you and waiting!

**Please note that all immunisations are by appointment only, no walk ins. so please call your nearest polyclinic as soon as possible so you get a slot that suits you.

Is it hard to get an appointment?
Well, yes & no. It's not as fast as a private clinic where you can just ring and get a same day appointment. The wait time is a few weeks. And they only allow you to fix an appointment for the next jab ( so one jab in advance only).. you cannot sit there and block book all the jab appointment for your baby from now until she's 2 years old.

But it works out fine for me. Everytime she goes for one jab, the nurse fixes an appointment for her next jab. So we go at it one appointment at a time. And she hasn't been late for any jabs, have always managed to get an appointment right on schedule ( example- the Hep B booster must take before 1 month old).

If you're kiasu about it, you can ring more than one polyclinic to see what appointment you can book with them and then take the slot that suits you best. But please cancel the slots you don't need anymore, so it opens up for other babies okay.
My mum came along for the Polyclinic visit last week.

I schedule all my baby's jabs at the polyclinic closest to my parent's house, so that we can spend the day there after. It's even walking distance.

What's the best time to schedule Jabs?
You know, I read recently that infants who get their jabs in the afternoon sleep better after the jab. I think this has been true for Myla Rae. She had her Hep B jab 2 months ago, in the morning... and that night was a nightmare of her being restless and cranky. Not sure if it's a coincidence but her last 2 jabs was the 5-in-1 and Pneumococcal taken last week in the afternoon, and she slept like a log after.

I actually started googling- Is it ok that my baby sleeps the whole day after vaccination?- because I was worried she was sleeping so so so so soundly. And that's when I read about the study stating that babies sleep well following an afternoon jab.

To be safe, I scheduled her next jab for the afternoon again.

What do I need to bring?
The first appointment please bring baby's birth cert (photocopy also can). This will ensure you get the full subsidy. And every visit, bring her Health booklet. I actually just keep a copy of her birth cert stapled in her health booklet, always handy to have.

How much does it cost?
All the important jabs are FREE for all Singaporean babies! Whoop! I only realized this when I took Myla Rae for the first jab there (it was the Hep B booster in her first month). After the jab, I went to the auto paying machine, keyed in her birth cert number, and wanted to pay. Only to be told (by the machine), the total cost was $0.

Her 5-in-1 jab was also free. And later on when she takes jabs like TB, MMR etc, they are all free too.

The only optional jab she has paid for so far is the Pneumococcal (protects against meningitis). That is $150 ( I think.. or $120), and I used her Medisave to pay for it. You can also use your baby's CDA account to pay for it if you want.

Do they get students to Jab my baby??!!
No! It's an experienced nurse who does it. And all she does the whole day for her shift is sit in the immunization room and jab baby after baby. So the times when I took Myla Rae for her jabs, I found them very skilled and professional at handling babies. The jab is so fast too.
Myla Rae, chilling at my mum's house after her jabs...


What about Medicines?
This is one thing you should not overlook. Take advantage of the subsidy for Singaporeans! Whenever I go for her jabs and there's a follow up by a doctor after (also not long queue time btw), I ask for whatever meds she needs.

For instance, this last visit, I asked for meds for fever. Important esp after the jabs as baby might run a temperature. And I was given panadol syrup for babies (and the doctor altered the dose as well because Myla is smaller in size so can't take the same dose as other babies her age). If I had bought the med at full price over the counter at an outside pharmacy, I would have followed the dose according to age!!!

Anyway, guess how much my bill was for the bottle of baby panadol syrup?

$0.35
 
Using the Kool Fever patches for babies.
This is Myla Rae on the night after her jabs, running a low grade fever, I did give her the dose of panadol. (I'm aware that for low grade fevers below 38deg, there's no need for meds, just sponge her will do... but I didn't want it to escalate la). If it will ease my baby's discomfort, then I will give it to her!

The next day, her body temp was cool throughout, and she was just more sleepy than usual. After 48 hours, everything back to normal. We survived her first fever... albeit only a slight one ( I was still worried and taking her temp every hour lol).
 

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never knew that!! Thanks for sharing & Myla is sooooooooo adorable!!

    ReplyDelete