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Free influenza vaccines to become available Oct. 1: CDC

Free influenza vaccines to become available Oct. 1: CDC

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Government-funded flu vaccines will be available from Oct.1 and eligible recipients should get their shots as soon as possible at the nation's 3,000 medical facilities where the free vaccines are offered, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday. CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) said that this year, the government purchased more than 3.16 million doses of influenza vaccine, including 2.93 million for adults and 233,000 for children, about 68,000 doses more than last year. These doses of free flu vaccine are available for high-risk groups, including people aged 65 and over; children between the ages of six months and preschool years; nursing home residents, patients with rare or acute diseases; health care workers; those working in animal farming or animal disease prevention and people aged between 60 and 64 with high-risk chronic illnesses. This year, pregnant women and people aged 50 and above with high-risk chronic illnesses will also become eligible to receive the free immunization, according to Chuang. The vaccines offered by the government this year are the types recommended by the World Health Organization, which are trivalent vaccines protecting against three influenza viruses -- influenza A (H3N2) virus, influenza A (H1N1) virus, and influenza B virus of the Yamagata lineage, according to Chuang. Drifted H3N2 viruses were first detected in March 2014 and subsequently caused widespread outbreaks, Chuang said. The winter's dominant virus strain--a mutated variant of H3N2--has claimed 400 lives in Hong Kong, he added. (By Lung Pei-ning and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-25 17:21 GMT+08:00