Taiwan not halting flu vaccination despite rising safety concerns

One man falls seriously ill after getting flu shot

A flu vaccine 

A flu vaccine  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan will proceed with the nationwide influenza vaccination program despite growing concern among a minority over the safety of such shots.

A 51-year-old man in Taichung has experienced dizziness, nausea, and other serious side effects 10 days after he received a flu shot on Oct. 10, and he has been placed in intensive care after being diagnosed with a rare case of Guillain-Barre syndrome. An investigation is underway to determine whether the illness is associated with his flu shot.

The incident has raised the alarm in Taiwan following multiple deaths in South Korea allegedly related to flu jabs. As of Sunday (Oct. 25), 59 had died following flu shots, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

South Korea has maintained no links have been found between the mortalities and influenza immunization. Singapore on Monday moved to temporarily halt the use of South Korea-manufactured SKYCellflu Quadrivalent and VaxigripTetra vaccines produced by French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi as a precaution.

Taiwanese health authorities said on Tuesday (Oct. 27) the country has no plans to suspend the program but has asked Sanofi to provide a report on worldwide cases that have reported side effects after the flu vaccine’s administration, wrote UDN.

As of Sunday, Taiwan had administered 4.15 million subsidized vaccines and recorded 51 cases with adverse reactions. Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) stressed that the vaccines used in the adverse cases are different from those used in South Korea.

Updated : 2020-12-04 04:33 GMT+08:00