Public flu vaccines to be used for paid users to tackle shortage

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Saturday it will make its supply of publicly-funded flu vaccines available for people who have to pay for their own vaccines, to address a recent shortage.

The number of people with severe flu cases has hit a five-year high since the flu outbreak last year, causing a surge in demand for flu vaccines this year.

As of Saturday, over 2.8 million doses of government-funded flu vaccines have been given for free to at-risk people, such as the elderly, since they became available on Oct. 1, an increase of over 1 million doses from the same period of last year, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) told reporters.

But people who do not qualify for the government-funded vaccines are also visiting clinics and paying out of their own pockets to get vaccinated, creating a serious shortage in vaccine supply.

To address the shortage, Chuang said the CDC plans to allocate 80,000 publicly-funded vaccines for paid users.

The vaccines are currently being inspected at customs and will be distributed to hospitals and medical institutions after passing inspection, he said.

Chuang said the temporary allocation will not affect the rights of those who use government-funded vaccines, as the government has purchased 6 million doses of vaccines and only a small portion will be temporarily allocated for paid users.

Premier Lin Chuan (??) said the measure is being implemented to tackle the problem at hand, and the borrowed amount will be made up over time.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel