Free flu vaccines delayed to Nov. 15 (2019/10/09)
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  • 英文 English 
    Free flu vaccines delayed to Nov. 15 (2019/10/09)

    October is typically the month for flu shots, but not this year. The government's free inoculation program will start later than usual on November 15, due to a projected delay in the annual winter flu outbreak. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control says that going by the current outbreak patterns, they predict the winter flu season will arrive in January, later than its arrival in the past two years.

    Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, hospitals reported more than 70,000 emergency room visits due to flu-like symptoms. That same week, there were 16 school-based cluster infections. Over the past four weeks, disease clusters at the community level were dominated by subtype H1N1 of influenza A. The numbers indicate a delay in the summer flu season that will delay the winter flu season, according to Taiwan CDC.

    Philip Lo
    CDC deputy director-general
    Due to a delay in the summer flu season, we predict that the winter flu season will arrive later as well. Based on our rough estimates, it won't be until January of next year that the epidemic season begins. That's later than it's been the past two years. It's possible that flu cases won't peak until after Spring Festival.

    In light of the late arrival, Taiwan CDC plans to postpone its flu vaccination program by one month. Starting Nov. 1, free flu shots will be provided to children from primary school to senior high, as well as medical personnel. From Dec. 8, there will be free shots for seniors 65 or older and children before school age. Shots for other demographics will start Jan. 1. Some physicians fear that the delay could leave vulnerable groups still vulnerable to dangerous viruses.

    Huang Li-min
    Pediatrics department director
    The H3N2 virus could be an important strain to watch in the Northern Hemisphere this winter. H3N2 has relatively fast rate of mutation. Once mutated, it spreads fast and becomes a relatively large outbreak. It could cause more severe illnesses and deaths.
    Taiwan CDC says that with a late start to the flu season, its revised vaccination schedule will provide optimal disease protection.
    中文 Chinese  
    公費疫苗11月接種 醫生憂太晚打 讓疫情嚴重



    [[疾管署副署長 羅一鈞]]


    [[台大醫院小兒部主任 黃立民]]


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