Taipei, June 15 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday appealed to senior citizens in Taiwan to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, as priority is being given to that vulnerable group amid an outbreak of domestic cases.
In a video message on Facebook, Tsai said it is crucial that elderly people get their COVID-19 shots, and she advised them to ignore any disinformation that might discourage them from doing so.
She said her government will work with the private sector to obtain and distribute resources to expand medical capacity in the country.
"Our goal is to reduce the rates of both severe COVID-19 cases and mortality," Tsai said.
According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, seniors 75 years old and over, workers at long-term care facilities, and kidney dialysis patients are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, starting Tuesday.
Many local governments, however, have decided to prioritize people 80 and over, in light of the limited number of doses and the current high demand.
In Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Chiayi and Kaohsiung, a COVID-19 vaccine delivery approach, dubbed "Umi-machi" after a town in Japan, has been adopted to make the inoculation process easier for the elderly.
It means that at designated venues, seniors can remain seated while the medical staff moves around, from one person to another, administering the shots.
To encourage people to show up at the sites, the Kaohsiung City government invited local musicians to perform at its biggest vaccination station at K-Arena on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in Taipei, Shin Kong Wo Ho Su Memorial Hospital assigned seven medical teams on Tuesday to vaccinate seniors at the nearby National Taiwan Science Education Center.
According to the hospital's Deputy Superintendent Hung Tzu-jen, the teams had vaccinated 150 people in the first 30 minutes on Tuesday and were taking about 12-13 minutes to assess and vaccinate each person.