Focus Taiwan App
Download

CORONAVIRUS/CDC to expand eligibility for free flu jabs, urges COVID vaccination

02/23/2024 07:03 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
A health worker administers a flu vaccine shot to a man at a supermarket in Taipei on Nov. 1, 2023, when the free vaccine became available to people aged 50 and above. CNA file photo
A health worker administers a flu vaccine shot to a man at a supermarket in Taipei on Nov. 1, 2023, when the free vaccine became available to people aged 50 and above. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) More people will be eligible to receive a government-funded free influenza vaccine shot from March 5, amid the growing spread of flu and COVID-19 in Taiwan, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday.

The spread of various respiratory diseases has continued in local communities and a wave of new flu cases is expected to hit Taiwan from now until early March because of the higher risk posed by students returning to school after the winter break, according to CDC Deputy Director General Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) that day.

Other factors include large gatherings during the lantern festival and religious events, he added.

After considering the growing number of new flu cases, the CDC has decided to offer a free flu jab to anyone who has not received one over the past five months, starting March 5, Lo said at a CDC news conference in Taipei.

Since the rollout of the annual flu vaccination when the current flu season began on Oct. 1, around 6.5 million doses of the flu vaccine had been made available to students, seniors and people with higher risks of catching the flu and developing serious symptoms, as of Feb. 20, according to Lo.

Currently, about 70,000 flu vaccine doses are still available, and Lo urged seniors, the parents of preschoolers and young children, and medical personnel to seize the chance to get vaccinated before the remaining reserve runs out.

People who plan to get a flu jab should contact clinics or hospitals to check availability before they visit these medical institutions to be inoculated, Lo added.

Jan. 30: Influenza claimed 8 lives last week, including a 3-year-old: CDC

Dec. 5: Half of inbound travelers take voluntarily test at airports positive for flu

He also urged members of the public to get the latest COVID-19 XBB.1.5 vaccine.

Taiwan currently has 4.336 million doses of Moderna's XBB.1.5 vaccine and around 210,000 doses of Novavax's XBB.1.5 vaccine, and new vaccines help generate antibodies against the current dominant variant JN.1, Lo said, citing research reports published in the United States.

Since Feb. 20, more than 10,000 COVID-19 doses have been administered every day across Taiwan, a rebound from the lower figures recorded during the recent Lunar New Year holiday, according to Lo.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Kay Liu)

Enditem/AW

Related News

Jan. 5: CDC urges public to get XBB vaccine for fast changing COVID-19

Dec. 24: China-bound tourists cautioned about spread of influenza-like illness: CDC

View All
0:00
/
0:00
We value your privacy.
Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.
172.30.142.20