Wed, Oct 14, 2009 - Page 2 News List

CDC reassures public on vaccines

VACCINE FEVER With hospitals facing a shortage of ordinary flu vaccine, the CECC announced that a 52-year-old woman in Hualien died of swine flu on Sunday

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday it would have sufficient stocks of flu vaccine, despite reports that hospitals across the country were running out of regular flu vaccines.

“We never ran out of vaccine doses so fast before,” CDC spokesman Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said.

Regular flu vaccines became available at hospitals on Oct. 1.

The CDC distributed a total of 1.95 million doses, Chou said, adding that about 1.1 million doses had been administered.

The CDC purchased 2.99 million flu vaccine doses this year.

Chou said the rest would be distributed gradually and called on the public not to panic if all the doses were used up.

“As long as you maintain good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, you will be fine,” he said.

Taipei Veterans General Hospital said 6,000 vaccines were administered on Monday.

National Taiwan University Hospital said it had administered all its 5,000 doses on Monday and was awaiting new supplies.

MacKay Memorial Hospital said that it only had 100 doses left.

Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said that most of its 6,000 doses were used on medical workers and that it ran out of vaccines yesterday.

In related news, the Central Epidemics Command Center (CECC) said yesterday that a 52-year-old woman in Hualien with cirrhosis became the nation’s 24th victim of swine flu on Sunday.

The woman began to exhibit flu symptoms on Oct. 3 and reported to a hospital in Taitung, where doctors discovered she had liver and heart problems and transferred her to another hospital in Hualien, where she later died.

The CECC received confirmation that the death was caused by swine flu on Monday afternoon from the Hualien County’s Department of Health.

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