Thu, Aug 15, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Taipei has enough rabies vaccines, city officials say

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday dismissed concerns that the city suffers a shortage of rabies vaccines, saying that it has 66,000 doses available for its 232 animal hospitals.

Amid continuous questions from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅) and other city councilors that some animal hospitals and pet owners have complained about a lack of vaccines, Taipei City’s Department of Economic Development Commissioner Huang Chi-ruei (黃啟瑞) insisted that the city has sent 11,000 vaccine doses to 142 animal hospitals that have requested them by Tuesday.

However, he said that three hospitals declined to take the vaccine from the city government.

The hospitals refused the vaccines because the expiration date of the batch is January next year, which they said is too short. The hospitals are waiting for the delivery of new vaccines they ordered, which are to arrive by Thursday next week, he said.

“Those hospitals do not have rabies vaccines right now, but it does not mean that the city is short of vaccines. Pet owners can take their pets to other animal hospitals to get vaccinated,” he said.

Animal Protection Office Director Yen I-feng (嚴ㄧ峰) said the office expects the supply of vaccine doses to reach more than 75,000 by Thursday next week. About 52 percent of the city’s 167,539 pet dogs and cats have been vaccinated, and the city aims to raise this rate to 70 percent soon, he said.

Taiwan reported three confirmed cases of rabies infection to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on July 17, ending its 52-year status as a rabies-free area.

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