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Taiwan begins administering AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan

2021-06-13
Focus Taiwan
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 Photo courtesy of New Taipei Social Welfare Department
Photo courtesy of New Taipei Social Welfare Department

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Several cities and counties in Taiwan, including New Taipei, Tainan and Kaohsiung, on Saturday began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine received last week from Japan.

New Taipei, the epicenter of Taiwan's current COVID-19 outbreak, has received a total of 83,000 doses from the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), the most out of any municipality, followed by 80,000 for Kaohsiung, 70,000 each for Taipei and Taichung, and 56,000 each for Taoyuan and Tainan.

According to the CECC, it will have distributed roughly 660,000 of the 1.24 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses donated by Japan to local governments by Monday.

Medical personnel, epidemic prevention workers, those in other high-risk jobs as well as seniors 75-years-old and over will be eligible to receive the AstraZeneca shots, the CECC official said.

On Saturday afternoon, New Taipei City government began administering the vaccines to local residents, workers at long-term care facilities and kidney dialysis patients.

However, due to the large number of people in the 75-84 age bracket, the city said seniors aged 85 and over will first be vaccinated on June 15.

In Taipei, the city government said online appointments for vaccination will start Sunday, with priority given to medical personnel, epidemic prevention workers, people in other high-risk jobs and dialysis patients.

As in New Taipei, only seniors aged 85 and over will be included among the people entitled to a jab for now, as there is currently not enough to vaccinate everyone aged 75 and over.

The vaccinations will take place over three days from June 15-17.

Taichung, Taiwan's second largest city, said its vaccination period will also take place from June 15-17, with priority given to the same categories of people as in Taipei and New Taipei, including local seniors aged 85 and over.

In Taoyuan, the city government said vaccinations for local seniors aged 81 and over will span three days from June 15-17, with those aged 88 and over to start on the first day, while jabs for those aged 84 and over and 81 and over will start on the second and third day, respectively.

Elsewhere, Tainan and Kaohsiung cities have already begun administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, with the latter providing jabs to medical personnel and quarantine workers after it received the doses on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung city government will also administer the shots to its 31,000 residents aged 87 and over from June 15-17.

In Tainan, the city said it would prioritize people in the top five categories of the priority list, which includes medical personnel, epidemic prevention workers, people in other high-risk jobs, those that need to travel abroad for official or essential reasons and people at correctional and long-term care facilities.

They will be vaccinated until June 14, while seniors will receive their jabs from June 15, it said.

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