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Government-Funded PCV13 Vaccinations for Children between the Ages of 1 and 2 Starting January 1, 2014

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2013-12-30
  • Last Updated:2020-05-25

To mitigate the severe complications of streptococcus pneumoniae, such as pneumonia, septicemia, and meningitis, in children, and reduce subsequent probability of death, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Taiwan has expanded the age group of children who are eligible to receive government-funded pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV13) to include 1 and 2 years of age, which will take effect on January 1, 2014. The CDC expressed that children who were born in 2012 and 2013, and who have not yet received PCV13 or have not completed the required number of vaccinations, are qualified to receive government-funded vaccination. CDC further stated that children over the age of 1 should complete vaccination as early as possible. 
According to national statistics, invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) typically occurs in children under the age of 5 and seniors over the age of 65. For children, the highest morbidity is exhibited between the ages of 2 and 5, followed by ages 1 and 2. As suggested by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Ministry of Health and Welfare, CDC offered children born between 2008 and 2011 the opportunity to receive a single government-funded PCV13 vaccination in 2013. As of the end of November 2013, nearly 61% of the children in this age group had successfully received vaccination. The CDC further recommends parents that children born in 2008, and who have not yet received PCV13, should be vaccinated before the end of December this year so as to not forfeit the opportunity for government-funded vaccination. 
In addition to continuously providing PCV13 vaccinations to underprivileged children (from low- to mid-income families) born between 2009 and 2011, the CDC will further expand the age range to include children born between 2012 and 2013 (please refer to the appendix). Approximately 520,000 children are expected to benefit from the implementation of this policy, and approximately 63 cases of children (1 to 2 years of age) contracting IPD can be reduced per year, saving roughly 3 lives. By breaking the chain of disease transmission and reducing the nasopharyngeal carriage rate among children, seniors in the communities may also obtain indirect protection. 
To reduce the health and life threats that are caused by the infection and transmission of IPD in high-risk groups, the CDC advises parents with children over the age of 1 to visit their local public health centers or contracted hospitals or clinics, along with their child health handbook and NHI IC card, after January 1, 2014 to complete vaccination. The PCV13 can be administered separately or simultaneous with other vaccinations in different parts of the body. The injection site for the vaccination typically requires 2 days to heal and few recipients have reported pain or swelling at the injection site following vaccination. In addition, the occurrence of sever side effects, such as fever or fatigue, is seldom exhibited following vaccination. If children exhibit high fevers or specific ill responses to the vaccination, parents must immediately consult a physician. For relevant inquiries, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov.tw, or call the national toll-free epidemic prevention hotline (1922 or 0800-001922).