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Volume 40, Number 2, April 2007

Survey of the status of self-paid varicella vaccination among children one to six years of age in Taiwan

Sui-Ling Liao, Tsuimi Huang, Yhu-Chering Huang, Donald Dah-Shyong Jiang
Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan; Department of Pediatrics, Hung Chi Women and Children’s Hospital, Taoyuan; Public Health Bureau of Taoyuan County, Taoyuan; Center for Disease Control, Department of Health, Taipei; and 5School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Received: December 30, 2005    Revised: June 6, 2006    Accepted: July 13, 2006   


Corresponding author:

Yhu-Chering Huang, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, No. 5, Fu-Hsin Street, Kweishan 333, Taoyuan, Taiwan. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



Background and purpose: 

Prior to 2004, the mass immunization program in Taiwan did not include varicella vaccine; however, parents could have their children vaccinated by the self-payment option.




In April 2002, we distributed 1271 questionnaires to the caregivers of children aged 1 to 6 years in Taoyuan county, Taiwan, to survey the status of vaccination rate against varicella, parental attitudes toward self-paid varicella vaccine, and the demographic characteristics of the family.




Based on the answers provided in the questionnaires (99% response rate), we learned that until April 2002, the vaccination rate against varicella was 26%. Most children received this vaccine by the age of 1 to 2 years (64%) mainly at local clinics (66%). Majority of the caregivers (94%) would have immunized their children against varicella if the vaccines were freely provided or partially paid for. Caregivers living in the city, those children whose parents had a relatively high education level, those from families with fewer children, those whose children were inoculated with other self-paid vaccines, and those parents with a higher family income were significantly (p<0.0001) willing to have their children inoculated.




In Taiwan, most caregivers were willing to have their children immunized against varicella if the vaccines were freely provided, or even if they were partially paid for. In case of other effective vaccines of high cost and not included in mass immunization, partially paying for the vaccine may be an option, since the parents’ willingness was substantially greater when the cost is lowered.



Key words:

Chickenpox vaccine; Immunization; Patient acceptance of health care; Taiwan


J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2007;40:112-115.