Wed, May 15, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Extra vaccines provided amid measles surge: CDC

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Centers for Disease Control yesterday announced that it has given 50,000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines to hospitals to administer at the recipients’ expense.

So far this year, 92 measles cases have been confirmed, nearly four times the number reported in the same period last year, it said.

New cases are being reported every week in Taiwan and several neighboring nations, so the supply of out-of-pocket MMR vaccines is running low, it said.

The centers have sent MMR vaccines to 30 hospitals with travel clinics for people at higher risk to get vaccinated at their own expense, before the next batch is imported in July, Division of Acute Infectious Diseases Director Yang Ching-hui (楊靖慧) said.

People at higher risk of becoming infected with measles and those born in or after 1981 should be prioritized for vaccination, she said.

High-risk groups include adults and infants from six months to one year old who are traveling to areas where the disease is spreading, healthcare practitioners, airline flight and ground crew, airport workers, and people who work at duty-free shops or often meet foreign people.

Meanwhile, the centers announced that it would expand eligibility for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) vaccines.

Due to a shortage of rabies vaccines, the agency in July last year announced that it would temporarily tighten eligibility standards.

To receive a PEP vaccination, people who have been scratched or bitten by a wild ferret-badger, masked palm civet, bat, house shrew (only in Taitung) or other mammal would be eligible for a National Health Insurance-covered vaccination.

Those who have been scratched or bitten by a stray dog or cat, or other wild animal may receive one at their own expense.

Those who are planning to visit countries with a high risk of rabies infection are eligible to receive an out-of-pocket PrEP vaccination.

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