CDC: Flu Vaccine Administration Deplayed to Late November |WHO晚公布選株 流感疫苗延後開打
In past years, the administration of flu vaccines covered under the universal health insurance tends to start on October 1. It was delayed to October 15 last year, and it could delayed even further this year, to middle or later November. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that, the WHO has delayed their announcement of their strain selection, which means the supply for flu vaccines will be delayed around the world, and that the first batch of vaccines to Taiwan will be limited in quantity. The CDC said it will consider selecting a certain demographic to receive the shots first. Some doctors are concerned that, the delay could affect potential flu epidemic control.
The flu virus doesn't just spread during autumns and winters, it could be active during summers as well. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that, in last week alone, the hospital emergency departments received more than 78,000 flu patients, of who most were elementary and high school students. In the past four weeks, there have been more than 100 cases of clustered flu infections around schools. In half of the cases, the students were infected by Type B Influenza, most were the Victoria strain.
The flu epidemic has suddenly spread in the last two months. It's likely due to the mutation of the Type B virus. The virus didn't show any abnormality in the past two, three months, and we only noticed something was off after the epidemic started.
The CDC said that if a strain of flu virus mutates, it often causes epidemics in schools. As summer approaches, the CDC said the epidemic could soon die down. In order to help prepare the citizens' immune system for the flu, the CDC will purchase quadrivariant flu vaccines this year and the administration will be covered under the universal health insurance. The vaccine will cover the two Type A flus and the two Type B viruses. However, due to the World Health Organization (WHO)'s delayed announcement on their virus strain selection, the supply of flu vaccine has been delayed around the world. It is estimated that the administration of the flu vaccine will be delayed to late November. Doctors are worried that the delayed vaccine administration will makes it difficult to contain a potential epidemic.
If the flu administration starts at the end of November, then half of the people who need the vaccine could still be waiting by the end of January or the beginning of February. If this happens, it will make containing a potential epidemic difficult.
The CDC stresses that it has completed the bidding process for the 6 million quadrivariant vaccines, and it anticipates that the first batch of vaccines will be limited in quantity. The CDC said if the administration of vaccines start in mid-November, it will consider giving the vaccines to a certain demographic first, and the administration will open to all citizens at the end of November when the vaccine supply is adequate.
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