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First Stage State Financed Vaccination Starting from November 15: Elementary School to High School Students Receive Vaccination at School According to Schedule; Medical Personnel Receive Vaccination at the Designated Location

    The Department of Health(DOH), Taipei City Government had announced that due to the 1-month delay in the announcement in the decision of the Northern hemisphere strain selection from the World Health Organization (WHO) influenza vaccine strain selection meeting, the schedule for global vaccine production and stock supply were delayed. In response towards the potential effects from the delay in vaccination supply, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC) followed the recommendations from the meeting of the Communicable Disease Control Advisory group of the Ministry of Health Welfare to arrange batch vaccination for this year’s financed vaccination scheme in order to stop the virus from spreading in communities, lowering infections among the high risk groups and reducing complications or mortality from inadequate supply to fulfill the entire population at one time.
    The first stage vaccination was started on November 15 for students from elementary school to high school, vocational high school, first to third year universities and college students, as well as medical personnel. Reasons for listing students and medical personnel as first stage vaccination candidates are that children from school and adolescents are more likely to result in viral cluster infection at school, resulting in absence or class suspension, it is essential to provide school vaccination as an indirect prevention for other high-risk populations; to prevent the infection of medical personnel from affecting them in terms of providing health care, as well as avoiding cluster infection in hospital.
    The students may receive vaccinations at school according to the schedule. The medical personnel/non-medical personnel from the hospitals that are contracted with Taipei City may receive vaccinations at their workplace. The medical personnel/non-medical personnel from medical institutions/hospitals that do not hold vaccination contracts with Taipei City may only be allowed to take the vaccine back for self-vaccination after they are verified as having refrigerated transport and refrigeration equipment management. For the remaining medical personnel, starting from November 15, they were being asked to bring identification cards, practice registration certified documents or evidence, staff ID, National Health Insurance card and other proof of identity to the 12 branches' outpatient clinics of Taipei City Hospital for vaccination. According to the regulations in the CDC's influenza vaccination plan, the upper limit of vaccinations for administrative personnel from each clinic is 2 people. If the administrative personnel are unable to receive vaccinations from the clinic, please bring the vaccination name list (with stamp from the clinic), identification card, National Health Insurance card and other proof of identity to the 12 branches' outpatient clinics of Taipei City Hospital for vaccination. Please confirm the vaccine availability and consulting hours with the outpatient clinic in advance over the phone to avoid unnecessary visits.
    The second stage vaccination started on December 8 for those who are over the age of 65 years old and children aged greater than 6 months to pre-elementary school age. Vaccination can be received from the hospitals that have a vaccination contract with Taipei City. The third stage vaccination shall start January 1, 2020 for other state financed individuals such as pregnant women, parents of babies younger than 6 months old, institutions, patients with underlying diseases (high risk groups for chronic diseases, rare diseases and major illnesses), adults at the age of 50-64 years old, childcare providers, sanitation and anti-epidemic personnel, livestock related personnel and so on.
    Division Chief Yu Tsan-Hua from the Disease Control Division of the DOH pointed out that apart from the receiving a vaccination for influenza prevention, carrying out household environment cleaning and ventilation, as well as strengthening personal hygiene, frequent hand washing should be done at other times to prevent viral spread from coughing, nasal discharge, hand contacting oral droplets, nasal discharge and other mucus secretions. During the influenza pandemic, please refrain from going to crowded public places that with poor ventilation. Please wear masks when symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat and so on appear. In addition, seek immediate medical care. For any questions regarding disease prevention, please contact the DOH disease control hotline (02)-2375-3782 or 1999 Taipei Citizen Hotline for relevant information.