An online mpox vaccination intention registration platform for people at higher risk of the disease was launched yesterday and the 3,000 slots for the first phase of vaccinations were filled within nine minutes, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.
The first vaccinations are to begin today, the CDC said.
CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Lee Chia-lin (李佳琳) said three locally acquired mpox cases were confirmed last week: three men in northern Taiwan aged 30 to 50.
They suffered symptoms including fever, nose congestion, headache, fatigue, mouth ulcers, diarrhea, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, blisters and scabs, Lee said, adding that the onset of symptoms began earlier this month, but they were diagnosed and reported on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said they live in New Taipei City, and Miaoli and Yilan counties, and 14 close contacts at medium to high risk had been identified and their health is to be monitored until Monday next week.
He said the CDC launched an online mpox vaccination intention registration platform (mpox.cdc.gov.tw) at 3pm yesterday for people with sexually transmitted diseases or who have had high-risk sexual activities — having multiple sexual partners or having participated in prostitution — within the past six months.
Potential vaccine recipients can register their intention to get vaccinated and choose among one of the six hospitals that are to administer the vaccine. They would receive an e-mail with instructions and a link to book a vaccine appointment with the hospital, Lo said.
The six hospitals are Taipei City Hospital’s Kunming Branch, New Taipei City’s Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan General Hospital, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Tainan’s Chi Mei Hospital and Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital.
Eligible recipients who have booked an appointment are required to take their ID card or a valid residence certificate, their National Health Insurance card and their reservation e-mail when going to hospital to be vaccinated, he said, adding that the vaccine is government-funded, but they would need to pay a registration fee of no more than NT$150.
There are 2,500 doses of vaccine available in the first phase, but the online platform allowed 3,000 people to register, as the CDC expects 20 percent not to keep their appointment, Lo said.
The 3,000 slots were filled by 3:09pm, nine minutes after the platform was launched, and the maximum number of concurrent users of the Web site reached 6,048.
The registration platform has been temporarily closed before the next batch of vaccines is expected to arrive early next month, he said.
Those vaccines would be offered as soon as possible after they pass lot release testing, he added.
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