Taiwan Meets Criterion of Mpox Elimination set by WHO. People Eligible for Mpox Vaccination Are Reminded to Receive Two Doses of Vaccines to Protect Their Own Health and Prevention Results.

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) specified today that Taiwan has met the criterion of Mpox elimination, i.e., “…the absence of new cases for ≥ three months in the presence of adequate surveillance” as set by WHO. Since Taiwan CDC listed Mpox as a Category II communicable disease on 23 June, 2022, Taiwan has had a total of 360 confirmed cases as of 19 February, 2024, including 340 domestic and 20 imported cases, with no new cases for 14 consecutive weeks since the last domestic case was confirmed on 13 November, 2023. However, there was recently one imported case of Mpox, a Taiwanese male in his twenties who has not been vaccinated for Mpox. He arrived from China around late January, and was reported as a confirmed case after seeking medical attention for skin lesions plus vesicles in early February, making him the first imported case of Mpox of this year. This shows the persisting risks of imported cases, especially as levels of Mpox have clearly been rising in Western Pacific and Southeast Asia regions during the latter half of 2023, albeit easing after December. Meanwhile, level in Europe has been rising since October of last year without a sign of easing so far, and is prevailing in the Americas, so Taiwan CDC would like to remind people and medical professionals to remain vigilant.

Taiwan CDC explained that, since the first confirmed domestic case of Mpox was reported on 26 February 2023, the level of the disease had peaked during April to June of the same year, but gradually declined through close cooperation between central and local government offices. With various intervention and countermeasures in place, the level has been steadily declining and is now under effective control. Such outcome was achieved mainly thanks to the combined tremendous efforts each office, local health departments, hospitals, relevant academic associations, as well as NGOs and other organizations have made on implementing the intervention and countermeasures, including: creation of reporting and testing networks, fulfilment of vaccination projects along with provision of vaccination service, case management plus timely provision of antiviral drugs, trainings to broaden knowledge on prevention and control for relevant personnel, as well as educational projects for general public and social network segments. Taiwan was able to successfully take measures and eliminate Mpox locally through such efforts, boosted awareness, and public vigilance.

Taiwan CDC pointed out that, as Mpox remains an active threat worldwide, eligible people are advised to receive full vaccination as soon as possible. Specifically, single dose of Mpox vaccine provides only 40% - 80% protection 14 days after inoculation, whereas a complete two-dose regime will offer 90% protection against the disease. As of 18 February, 74,286 people have received vaccination, among whom 47,612 have received two doses, accounting for 63.6% of vaccinated persons. Which means there remain 27,214 people (36.4% of vaccinated persons) who have only received one dose. Taiwan CDC is appealing to such persons to get the second dose as soon as possible. Currently there are 162 contract clinics/facilities in Taiwan that offer Mpox vaccination services. For more information, please see Mpox vaccination site (https://gov.tw/3SG), where you can click on a contract facility to make an appointment.