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Premier Chen announces vaccine subsidies for flu season

The China Post--The government will subsidize vaccinations for children aged between 6 months and 6 years and for those over 65 ahead of the upcoming flu season, Premier Sean Chen announced yesterday.

Chen emphasized the importance of being immunized, which he said is the best means of strengthening the body and preventing flu outbreaks. Such measures are especially important during November, as December is the peak month for flu cases.

The premier said he has instructed the local government to work intensively with the Department of Health (DOH) under the Executive Yuan, and to give special attention to high-risk groups such as toddlers, infants, the elderly and those working in the livestock industry. He also urged local governments to raise public awareness to increase vaccination rates.

Citing information from the DOH, Chen said that of the 262 cases of influenza diagnosed this year, 245 were the type A subtype H3N2 (AH3) strain. Twenty-four of these cases resulted in death, a stark reminder of how dangerous AH3 is and that it should be treated with extreme caution, Chen said.

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