The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced on January 5 that in order to increase vaccination coverage and maximize the efficacy of the vaccine, beginning January 6, it would expand the target population of the government-funded flu vaccine to include all unvaccinated residents aged over 6 months until the supply is depleted. Taiwan CDC urges unvaccinated individuals, especially elderly people over 65 years of age, preschool children, and healthcare workers to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect their own health and that of others.
The 2021 government-funded seasonal influenza vaccination campaign was launched in two stages. Except for adults aged 50-64 without high-risk chronic diseases who started to be vaccinated in the second stage on November 15, 2021, other individuals began to receive their vaccination on October 1, 2021. As of January 4, 2022, over 5.62 million doses have been administered, and the overall utilization rate is over 91.9% with around 490,000 doses remaining. There are currently over 3,700 contracted clinics (including some public health centers) and hospitals in Taiwan providing flu vaccination. Members of the public are recommended to search for a nearby contracted clinic/hospital through the websites of local health bureaus, the Taiwan CDC Anti-Flu website (https://antiflu.cdc.gov.tw/), or the Disease Control Butler, or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline at 1922 and then make an appointment for a flu vaccination with the clinic or hospital to ensure they can get vaccinated as planned.
During the period of the government-funded influenza vaccination campaign, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues to be carried out. According to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a minimum interval of seven days between a flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended to help clarify the causal relationship if any adverse event happens. Taiwan CDC reminds members of the public to inform the doctor of their vaccination history before making an appointment or getting vaccinated. Contracted clinics/hospitals should arrange separate routes in a vaccination area, and staff should check vaccine recipients' vaccination history and affix a flu shot sticker to their NHI card after vaccination.
Taiwan CDC also reminds the public that the influenza activity has remained at a low level and that the flu season has yet to arrive; therefore, the public should be vaccinated as soon as possible to gain sufficient protection before the peak of the flu season. As the temperature has remained low recently, the public should practice good hygiene and get vaccinated in order to prevent the double impact of flu and COVID-19. If any symptoms of influenza-like illness develop, individuals with symptoms should wear a mask, seek medical attention immediately, and rest at home to reduce virus transmission. For more information on influenza vaccine or influenza prevention, please visit Taiwan CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov.tw, or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).