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(2018-10-16)

  • Resource: Taiwan CDC
  • Release date: 10/26/2018 2:16:01 PM

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

Deputy Minister Lu said the government ordered about 6 million doses offlu vaccine this year to provide immunization to a quarter of thepopulation. Flu season starts each November and peaks around the LunarNew Year. A flu shot provides about a year of protection and has a70-90% chance of preventing the illness in adults. For the elderly, ashot can lower the risk of complications from flu by 50-60%, and canreduce the mortality rate by 80%. Taiwan CDC urges the public to getvaccinated promptly before flu season reaches its peak.

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

Winter to spring is not only flu season but also the season forinvasive pneumococcal disease. Seniors over 75 who have never receivedthe PPV23 vaccine are advised to request the pneumococcal vaccine fromtheir doctor when receiving a flu vaccine. Concomitant administrationof the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine at different injectionsites can protect against both diseases.

People who meet the eligibility criteria for free seasonal flu shotscan visit Taiwan CDC's website (https://www.cdc.gov.tw) to find theirnearest participating medical institution. Don't forget to bring yournational ID card,health insurance card, and other related documents tothe doctor's office.Primary and secondary school students can receivethe vaccine free on campus.Other eligible individuals can get flu shotsfree of charge at contracted institutions, but will need to payregistration fees and associated medical expenses. For moreinformation, call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting andConsultation Hotline at 1922 (or 0800-001922).

Last modified at2018-10-16
Data fromPublic Relation Office