Nearly all ‘missing’ vaccines accounted for, CDC says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Sep 09, 2018 - Page 3

Only 13,603 vaccination records at one local public health center remain missing, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Friday, after the Control Yuan last month censured the agency,saying that local health centers had administered about 310,000 government-funded flu vaccines last year without recording the recipients’ names.

The Control Yuan’s correction came after it found that the Sanchong District Public Health Center falsely reported the number of flu vaccines that it administered in 2015.

That led to an investigation of all of last year’s vaccination records from 370 public health centers, which showed that about 310,000 doses lacked a recipient’s name.

After one month, only 13,603 doses reported to have been administered at the Sanchong District Public Health Center remain unaccounted for, while the recipients of the other approximately 290,000 doses have been identified, the agency said.

Public health centers and healthcare facilities are required to register administered vaccines on the CDC’s flu vaccine management system, but for several reasons, the vaccinations were not registered on the National Health Insurance (NHI) program’s system, causing the discrepancy, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

About 170,000 doses were commissioned by public health centers to be administered by vaccination stations at healthcare facilities or in communities, but the health centers did not apply for an NHI vaccination fee, he said.

Public health centers administered bout 122,000 doses, but because the recipients forgot to bring their NHI cards, NHI card readers malfunctioned or there was no Internet connection, the cases were not registered on the NHI system.

About 2,500 doses were earmarked by the health centers for hospitals, but they did not apply for an NHI vaccination fee, he said, adding that about 280 doses were given to other health centers, so registrations on the CDC’s system and the NHI system were done by different centers.

Prosecutors are looking into the missing vaccines at Sanchong, and if they find that it destroyed them, the CDC would request compensation, which according to the contract is 10 times the cost of the vaccines, Lo said.

The CDC would develop software for public health centers to collect the recipients’ NHI information even when offline, to prevent the problem from recurring when government-funded flu vaccinations are launched on Oct. 15, he said.