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    • 16 OCT 18
    • 0

    Taiwan CDC launches seasonal flu vaccination campaign on October 15; opera star Tang Mei-yun gets her flu shot and urges public to get immunized

    With flu season approaching, the public is urged to get flu shots as soon as possible. Taiwan Centers for Disease Control(Taiwan CDC) launched this year’s government-funded seasonal influenza vaccination campaign on October 15, 2018. The event was attended by Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Lu Pau-ching(呂寶靜), Taiwan CDC Director-General Chou Jih-haw(周志浩), Taiwanese opera singer Tang Mei-yun(唐美雲), kindergarten teachers, a nine-month-old girl, and expectant mothers. To encourage influenza vaccination,they received injections as a demonstration. Together they called on eligible groups to get their free shots for the sake of their own health as well as that of their friends and family.

    Deputy Minister Lu said the government ordered about 6 million doses of flu vaccine this year to provide immunization to a quarter of the population. Flu season starts each November and peaks around the Lunar New Year. A flu shot provides about a year of protection and has a 70-90% chance of preventing the illness in adults. For the elderly, a shot can lower the risk of complications from flu by 50-60%, and can reduce the mortality rate by 80%. Taiwan CDC urges the public to get vaccinated promptly before flu season reaches its peak.

    Opera star Tang Mei-yun said it was only after coming down with the flu that she realized the best defense against flu was vaccination. At the time, the flu virus caused her to experience extreme malaise. Her doctor prescribed Tamiflu and a self-imposed quarantine that prevented her from leaving her home or going to work. Tang said that being an opera singer requires frequent rehearsals in enclosed spaces and close person-to-person contact – factors that facilitate the spread of the flu virus.Now she’s taking initiative to promote the benefits of flu vaccination, which is key to preventing illness and interruptions to work.

    Winter to spring is not only flu season but also the season for invasive pneumococcal disease. Seniors over 75 who have never received the PPV23 vaccine are advised to request the pneumococcal vaccine from their doctor when receiving a flu vaccine. Concomitant administration of the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine at different injection sites can protect against both diseases.

    People who meet the eligibility criteria for free seasonal flu shots can visit Taiwan CDC’s website ( to find their nearest participating medical institution. Don’t forget to bring your national ID card,health insurance card, and other related documents to the doctor’s office.Primary and secondary school students can receive the vaccine free on campus.Other eligible individuals can get flu shots free of charge at contracted institutions, but will need to pay registration fees and associated medical expenses. For more information, call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline at 1922 (or 0800-001922).


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