The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Feb. 7) announced that Taiwan will receive a couple hundred thousand doses of vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX platform.
On Feb. 4, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced that although Taiwan is not on the official printed list, it is among five to eight other non-U.N. member states that have been allotted 1,303,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. On Monday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) stated that Taiwan will receive nearly a quarter-million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the delivery date has not yet been determined.
During a press conference on Monday, Chen said it is not yet clear whether Taiwan will receive the largest number of doses among the non-U.N. member states, nor has the delivery date been determined. However, he said he can confirm that the country has been allocated over 200,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and that the CECC is in active communication with COVAX over the matter.
As for whether a small portion will be available to businessmen and other self-paying recipients, Chen said that those with special needs will be included in the policy, and individuals from important business exchanges will also be placed on the priority list in the next few waves. If there are some shots given early, they will only be given if there are leftovers, and there will be a certain amount of restrictions.
Chen said that the CECC has not ruled out providing special exceptions in which people can receive vaccines. However, he emphasized that epidemic prevention personnel and healthcare professionals will be given first priority, and only if there are surplus shots will more be administered to other groups.
Chen pointed out that there have been meetings to discuss the establishment of an information system for administering vaccines. He said that it is necessary to ensure that all personnel can be vaccinated and that they receive two doses of the same vaccine while avoiding mixing with others.
He said that this requires very accurate and complete information and a good information system that can minimize problems and errors for frontline staff and ensure timely reports of adverse events. Chen said that the existing health insurance and vaccination systems will need to be better connected and made more efficient to handle the coming waves of mass vaccinations.