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Mayor: Influenza Vaccine Now Available

Mayor receiving his flu shotDuring a press conference on October 5 at the Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch, Mayor Ko Wen-je announced the start of this year’s flu inoculation service and called upon the public to vaccinate themselves ahead of flu season.
 
He pointed out that the earlier an individual receives the quadrivalent influenza vaccine the better, since it takes roughly two weeks before immunity sets in – right in time as the flu season picks up around November.
 
For seniors who are 65 years old or above, they have the choice of receiving an additional pneumococcal shot. Ko pointed out that mutation among the bacteria pneumococcus is fairly slow, so most people only need to be vaccinated once in their lifetime. However, since the flu virus ‘changes’ quite frequently, the recommendation is to have one flu shot each year.
 
Receiving updates on global COVID-19 cases from the Department of Health (DOH) on a daily basis, the mayor pointed out that the latest number for October 4 indicate 310,000 new cases worldwide and 51,000 in the US. This shows that the pandemic is still large and remain a serious global health crisis. That is why DOH remains on full alert against possible outbreaks and continues to implement strict control measures.
 
While the public may be confused about the relationship among COVID, flu, pneumonia, and coronavirus, he stressed that receiving flu inoculation will still make a difference. While the flu vaccine cannot offer protection against COVID-19, it nonetheless prevents the worst-case scenario of individuals contracting both influenza AND COVID.
 
As both the flu and COVID-19 spread via droplets in the air, it is important to observe measures such as wearing facemask, practicing good hygiene, and keeping social distance.