Although a government program to provide free human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccinations to seventh-grade girls nationwide is scheduled to begin this month, a survey published by the Formosa Cancer Foundation showed that only about 30 percent of respondents knew about the program.
Government-funded HPV shots are to be provided at schools from the middle of this month, with the Ministry of Health and Welfare saying that girls in seventh grade and their parents would be informed about the vaccination and allowed to decide whether to receive it.
The ministry has bought bivalent vaccines that protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which are linked to about 70 percent of all cervical cancers.
The foundation collected more than 10,000 responses through an online survey between Oct. 26 and Nov. 30 and published the results on Monday last week.
It found that 68.9 percent of respondents knew that HPV infection of the cervix is the most common cause of cervical cancer, but only 54.5 percent knew that HPV infection can increase the likelihood of other diseases, such as genital warts.
About 79.1 percent of parents with children aged nine to 18 surveyed knew about the relationship between HPV infection and cervical cancer, the foundation said.
However, only about 30 percent of all respondents knew that free vaccines would be provided to seventh-grade girls from this month, it said.
Taiwan Immunization Vision and Strategy director-general Lee Ping-ying (李秉穎), a pediatrician at National Taiwan University Hospital, said that cervical cancer is among the 10 most commonly diagnosed cancers among women in Taiwan.
In addition to practicing safe sex and getting regular Pap smear tests, getting vaccinated is another effective method of protection, Lee said.
Nearly 90 countries have publicly funded HPV vaccination programs, and the WHO has prequalified HPV vaccines as safe and effective in preventing infection, he said, adding that parents should not worry about the vaccination.
Boys can also get vaccinated at their own expense to prevent genital warts, Lee added.
Eleven municipalities in Taiwan already provide free HPV vaccines, of which four have purchased quadrivalent vaccines and four have purchased nonavalent vaccines, which protect against more HPV types, he said.
That means parents can consult a doctor if they want their children to instead receive quadrivalent or nonavalent vaccines, but they would not be covered by the national program, Lee said.
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
TRACING UNDER WAY: The CECC has identified six transmission chains among 25 recently confirmed COVID-19 cases, including those linked to a restaurant and a bank The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 54 new COVID-19 infections — 44 imported and 10 local — and identified six transmission chains among local cases. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the imported cases are 18 who tested positive upon arrival at the airport and 26 who tested positive during quarantine. Of the local cases, seven are associated with a cluster infection at a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) outlet in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District (中壢), one is linked to a family of four with COVID-19 reported on Monday, one is a family member of an
BILINGUAL NATION 2030: Those interested can apply online, while recruitment would continue until all of the positions are filled, the Ministry of Education said The recruitment of foreign English teachers for elementary and junior-high schools would be expanded in the 2022-2023 school year as part of Taiwan’s efforts to become a bilingual country, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said yesterday. In a statement, the ministry said that it has since 2004 hired 81 foreign nationals per year to teach English in 16 smaller counties and cities to build a better English-learning environment for students. However, for the 2022-2023 school year, the number of foreign English teachers recruited would increase to 531, with some of them to be posted to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan
Taiwan’s 5G service would not interfere with civil aviation, as there is a broad guard frequency band between the two systems, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. The 5G system’s possible risks to flight safety came under scrutiny after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week warned that 5G services in the C-band spectrum might interfere with radio altimeters on certain types of aircraft, which could prevent a plane from stopping on the runway after landing. Pilots use radio altimeters when landing under low-visibility. Major US carriers last week also said that 5G service plans offered by AT&T and Verizon