Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are planning to receive free flu vaccinations this year. Due to the low vaccination rate among pregnant mothers and young children, the Taichung City Government launched the distribution policy to protect their health starting from tomorrow (the 20th) by initiating the "Infant Protection Action." Every Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the "Priority Days of Maternal and Young Children Vaccination" at the 30 health stations in the whole of Taichung City to give priority vaccination to young children aged between 6 months and six years old as well as parents with infants younger than six months. Pregnant women are suggested to get flu vaccinations at hospitals where they have their pre-natal visits. For the rest of the groups covered by the national free flu vaccination program, they can also get their flu shots on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, if their scheduled day falls on a holiday. This is intended to care for the vaccination rights of the vulnerable group.
According to the Health Bureau, from the launching of vaccination program on October 5th up to 8:00 this morning, more than 400,000 doses of flu vaccine (vaccine utilization rate of 54%) were administered. The target vaccination rate for young children between the ages of six months and six years old is 55%. This means that in Taichung City at least 127,000 doses should have been administered, yet until October 19th, only 42,669 doses were used, with a vaccination rate of 18.3%, much lower than planned.
In consideration of young children as the vulnerable group of seasonal flu, the Taichung City Government announced that starting from tomorrow in the 30 health stations in the whole of Taichung City will observe every Tuesdays and Wednesdays as the "Priority Days of Maternal and Young Children Flu Vaccination." Additionally, all contracted hospitals in Taichung City will terminate the offering of flu vaccination for adults and among them, only 326 will provide young children with flu vaccination services. Parents are urged to bring their kids for vaccination. Older adults at the age of 65 years old and up are suggested to receive vaccination at community vaccination stops or health stations.
According to the Bureau, to response to the public demand for vaccination, additional services were offered at each health station since October 24th. For pregnant women, young children between six months and six years old, and parents with infants aged younger than six months with registered residencies in Taichung City, they are urged to bring their national identification cards, national health insurance cards and children’s health handbooks/maternal handbooks for administration of priority vaccination for seasonal flu.
According to the Bureau, in order to protect the frontline health workers and effectively control vaccine administration, staff of medical institutions for fighting the pandemic, animal and poultry protection, and nursing institutions, and childcare centers shall complete their vaccinations before October 23rd and for those who fail to do so before the dateline will be given their vaccine shots to others covered by the free national vaccine program.