At the City Executive Meeting on March 7, Mayor Ko Wen-je announced that Taipei will start subsidizing rotavirus inoculation for eligible infants. An estimated 30,000 babies are expected to benefit from the new measure which takes effect on April 5, 2017.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), infants domiciled in Taipei will be granted a subsidy of NT$2,100 for rotavirus vaccination. In addition, the service will be completely free for infants from low-income families, with major or rare illnesses, or special cases.
Parents with eligible babies should produce (a) Taipei City Children’s Medical Subsidies Certificate, (b) the Children’s Health Manual, and (c) the National Health Insurance Card to access the service, which is available at designated clinics. Related information can be found on the official website of DOH.
The mayor pointed out that rotavirus is a leading cause of diarrhea for infants and that inoculation is the most effect way to protect children against the infectious disease. In the past, only well-off families opted to have the babies inoculated. To further the principle of equal opportunity, the City designed the measure to allow disadvantaged kids to access the medical service at a time when low birth rates have posed a threat to national security for the island.
The Division for Disease Control and Prevention noted that WHO has recommended the inclusion of rotavirus vaccine to national routine vaccinations programs, as the treatment is believed to be able to prevent as high as 85 percent of severe diarrhea among young children.