Measles Vaccine in Taiwan

TAIWAN : TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the number of confirmed cases of the measles has reached 22 in Taiwan, and the supply of the vaccine limited, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends three groups of people as a priority to receive the vaccine: health care workers, aviation personnel and people preparing to go on trips abroad soon, especially if they will be going to areas where the measles is prevalent and people between the ages of 20 and 40, reported CNA.

The first case of the measles in Taiwan was reported on March 29, when a 30-year-old man contracted the disease while traveling in Thailand and flying back to Okinawa while still contagious and two Taiwanese flight attendants who were on the plane he was traveling on then also contracted the virus. Two cases of measles have also been confirmed at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan.

According to statistics from the CDC there are now 22 confirmed cases of the measles in Taiwan, including 15 domestic infections and 7 from overseas. There are currently 5,103 people who appear to have been exposed to the disease, as the number of confirmed cases has reached a nine-year high.

The CDC’s Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said in an interview with CNA that as the recent outbreak of the measles has spread, the amount of vaccines distributed has increased, with only 30,000 doses of the vaccine left in stock for all of Taiwan. Chuang recommended that medical staff, aviation personnel and people who are planning to go abroad in the near term be prioritized for the vaccine, especially in areas that have reported measles infections, and particularly those between 20 to 40 years old.

Chuang explained that before 1976, the measles epidemic in Taiwan was once a pandemic, so most people over the age of 40 developed antibodies to the disease at the time. Over 97 percent of people under the age of 20 have been inoculated with two doses of the measles vaccine and therefore should have strong resistance.

However, that leaves people between the age of 20 and 40 with the highest risk of infection due to weakened vaccine protection.

Chuang emphasized that vaccination is the best way to prevent measles, and the government now provides one free dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine for children aged one and five. Other members of the public can receive the vaccine, but they will have to pay a fee.

The Taiwan subsidiary of American pharmaceutical company Merck issued a statement on Sunday (April 22) saying that as demand has increased for the vaccine in the country, they are actively seeking more doses of the vaccine from its head office.

Source @ Measles Vaccine in Taiwan

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