Everyone Joins Hands to Stay Healthy: Second Phase of Influenza Vaccine Rollout Begins on November 1

The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (hereinafter referred to as Taiwan CDC) of the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced today that the second phase of the government-funded influenza vaccination program has begun. The target group of this phase is adults aged 50 to 64 without high-risk chronic conditions. To increase the influenza vaccination rate, Taiwan CDC has once again partnered with PX Mart and local health authorities across the country to establish vaccination stations at designated PX Mart stores. This makes it convenient for the public to receive their shots.

Taiwan CDC Director-General Chuang Jen-Hsiang mentioned that Taiwan CDC has prepared 6.98 million doses of government-funded influenza vaccines for eligible individuals. Director-General Chuang added that flu vaccinations are available to the target group of the second phase today: people  aged 50 to 64 without high-risk chronic diseases. He urged individuals in this age group to avail themselves of the influenza vaccine to enhance their personal protection. As of October 30, 3.8 million people have already received the influenza vaccine. Furthermore, the COVID-19 XBB.1.5 vaccine has been available for all individuals since October 11. The public is reminded that, in the post-pandemic era, the combination of the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines provides double protection. Additionally, individuals aged 65 and above can receive pneumococcal vaccines in different phases of the vaccination campaign based on their eligibility  to effectively reduce the risk of severe respiratory illnesses and death.

Mr. Tsai Du-Chang, the General Manager of PX Mart, expressed his honor to collaborate with Taiwan CDC and utilize PX Mart's extensive nationwide reach across the country for this public health initiative. To support efforts to encourage the public to get vaccinated against influenza, PX Mart has arranged for approximately 80 of its stores throughout Taiwan to host vaccination stations established by local health authorities. Individuals receiving their shots at PX Mart stores will receive health-related gifts prepared by the company, in addition to the protection provided by the vaccine and overall health.

Celebrity couple Huang Kuo-Lun and Kou Nai-Hsin, who meet the eligibility criteria for the second phase, were also invited to receive the government-funded influenza vaccine at the event. Huang said that to protect himself and his family, he always reminds himself of the importance of getting vaccination as he frequently interacts with a wide range of people due to professional responsibilities and after three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kou added that despite feeling and looking much younger than her actual age, she still feels the need to urge  individuals aged 50 and above to get vaccinated annually. Good health is the cornerstone of normal social interactions, ensuring a youthful and beautiful body and mind.

Taiwan CDC pointed out that this year’s government-funded influenza vaccination program is being launched in two phases. The second phase begins on November 1, and the target group is adults aged 50 to 64 without high-risk chronic conditions who are eligible for government-funded vaccinations. Influenza vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza, with an average protection of about 30-80% following vaccination. The protection against hospitalization due to influenza is about 41%, and the protection against severe illness is up to 82%.

Taiwan CDC also reminds the public that there are approximately 4,000 contracted healthcare facilities across Taiwan offering the influenza vaccine. Individuals are encouraged to find the nearest contracted facility by visiting their local health department's website, the Taiwan CDC Anti-Flu Website (https://antiflu.cdc.gov.tw/), or the "Disease Control Butler, or calling the Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline at 1922. People are advised to make appointments with facilities before visiting a facility to ensure vaccine availability and reduce waiting times. People should bring their National Health Insurance (NHI) card and relevant identification documents, such as the Children's Health Booklet or Maternal Health Booklet). They should also wear masks, maintain a safe distance, and practice hand hygiene when waiting to get vaccinated.