CECC to allow out-of-pocket AZ jabs
Courtesy of ICRT
Private individuals may soon be able to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The Central Epidemic Command Center is planning to make the AstraZeneca jab available to ordinary citizens to purchase out of pocket before the end of the month.
The CECC is looking to make 5-10,000 jabs available in this fashion.
A concrete timetable for this programme could be announced as early as next week.
With willingness to get the vaccine low due, the CECC is trying to get as many people inoculated as possible before the vaccines expire.
Some 200,000 doses are set to expire in late May, while another 120,000 will go bad in mid-June.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one currently available in Taiwan. Doses of Moderna's shot should arrive next month, and locally-produced jabs may be available in July.
In related news, the CECC is getting ready to allow more people to get Covid-19 vaccines.
Starting next Monday, the CECC will let more categories of people receive the AstraZeneca jab.
Epidemic prevention workers at the local and central government levels will be able to get the shot at that time, as well as people who work in jobs that have a higher risk of Covid-19 exposure.
This includes staff at airports and harbours and other points of entry and emergency responders.
Airplane and commercial vessel crew members, drivers of epidemic prevention taxis, and quarantine hotel personnel will also be eligible then.
The total number of people eligible for the jab will hit 613,000.
Taiwan has received over 300,000 doses of vaccines so far, but fewer than 19,000 people have received their first dose.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health and Welfare has decided to continue using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The ministry held an emergency meeting to discuss the issue after the European Medicines Agency officially listed blood clots as a rare side effect of the jab.
After reviewing the agency's decision, the ministry has decided to keep administering the AZ jab, saying the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
However, it has suggested that people taking contraceptives or hormonal treatments cease these medications for 28 days before getting the vaccine.
Others are free to take the shot, as long as they are aware of the risks involved.