TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Taiwanese citizens over 65 years old can receive free pneumococcal vaccinations starting Monday (Nov. 27).
Amid an outbreak of respiratory diseases including adenoviruses and mycoplasma pneumoniae, Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is urging the public to get vaccinated. The country has seen an increase in vaccinations for the COVID-19 XBB variant and influenza in response to the viral diseases.
Pediatrician Che Tsan-wei from a local clinic emphasized that respiratory diseases weaken individuals’ immune systems, increasing vulnerability to pneumococcus. Vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae is shown to significantly reduce severe illness risks.
Physician Huang Li-min from the Department of Pediatrics at National Taiwan University Hospital advises that children under 12 should be cautious, particularly with the potential spread of the mycoplasma pneumoniae epidemic from China to Taiwan by early next year.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan is now facing another viral challenge, underscoring the need for continued basic epidemic prevention measures such as frequent handwashing, wearing masks, and vaccination.
The introduction of free pneumococcal vaccines for the elderly is part of Taiwan's effort to strengthen defenses against respiratory pathogens.