TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) apologized on Monday (Oct. 19) for temporarily suspending tax-funded flu vaccinations for healthy middle-aged people amid a temporary shortage.
The vaccines are currenlty available for a variety of groups, including students in kindergarten through high school, adults over the age of 50, parents with babies under 6 months old, pregnant women, kindergarten staff, people with chronic conditions, and those who are receiving long-term care.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) said that the decision to suspend flu vaccinations for healthy people aged between 50 and 64 was made in order to properly prioritize high-risk demographics, including the elderly, children, and pregnant women, CNA reported.
Noting that the government imported sufficient doses of the flu vaccine last year, Su explained that the government had imported even more this year. The premier attributed the temporary shortage to a rush driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The premier urged healthy middle-aged people to yield to the high-risk groups and get vaccinated later.
The Taiwan Centers for Disease Control reminds the public that antibodies from flu vaccines develop about two weeks after an injection, protecting recipients from viruses for about a year.