Wed, Oct 28, 2015 - Page 3 News List

CDC to send letters about children who are not vaccinated

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that next week it would send out letters of notification to parents who have not yet taken their children aged under six to receive vaccinations covered by National Health Insurance.

Upon receiving the letter, the parents can either take their children to get the vaccinations within one month, or reply in writing to the local health bureau to explain why they are unable to do so.

The CDC said that if parents fail to respond in either of these two ways, it would inform local social affairs departments, which would send representatives to visit the families to investigate why they have not responded.

Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infectious Diseases director Yang Chin-hui (楊靖慧) said that according to National Immunization Information System data, there are about 120,000 children across the nation who have missed or skipped vaccinations and their families would receive a letter next week.

She said that about 95 percent of Taiwanese children have received the vaccinations, and that of the remaining 5 percent, some might have been vaccinated in other countries.

However, CDC Director-General Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) said that past analysis of social affairs department records showed that a high percentage of abused children did not get vaccinated, and the new policy might also identify children who are at risk of being abused or neglected by their parents.

“Although there are currently no laws that can impose a fine or punishment on parents who fail to have their child vaccinated, the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法) allows the centers to report these cases to social affairs departments, which would send social workers to evaluate the families,” Kuo said.

“We hope to do our best to protect the health of the next generation,” he said.

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