Online vaccine system launched as more AZ vaccines arrive
Courtesy of ICRT and ECCT staff writers
A new online system for scheduling coronavirus vaccine appointments has begun accepting registrations from eligible recipients nationwide. The move follows a two-day trial run in Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.
The government originally planned to limit registration to people in categories 9 and 10 on its vaccine priority list.
However, Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang says it was decided to also accept registrations for people aged 65 and above after receiving feedback from the public and local governments.
According to Tang, people who register for the system, meet the age requirements and are willing to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, will receive text messages next week from the government's 1922 hotline, notifying them when they can make an appointment.
A trial of the system's appointment-scheduling feature is now underway in Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu, for people who have already completed the registration process.
And a total of 4,938 people have so far registered for the system, consisting of 3,217 in Kinmen, 1,700 in Penghu and 21 in Matsu.
The news comes after Taiwan yesterday received a new shipment of 1.13 million AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine doses donated by Japan. It was the second donation by Japan of AZ vaccines to Taiwan, after the first donation of 1.24 million doses in early June.
The vaccines are being reserved for people aged between 50 and 64 and for those between the ages of 18 and 64 who suffer from serious conditions that put them at risk of severe infection.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung is thanking Japan for the donation and says inspection of the vaccine shipment will be expedited to allow for faster distribution.
The 1.13 million vaccine doses donated by Japan were developed by AstraZeneca and manufactured under license in Japan.
Japan's foreign minister earlier this week said the vaccine donations were a gesture of gratitude for Taiwan's aid to Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The donation is a further boost to Taiwan’s vaccine supplies following the arrival yesterday of another shipment of 626,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, which it has purchased from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company.
That shipment was part of a 10 million dose purchasing contract Taiwan signed with AstraZeneca on 30 October 2020. Prior to Wednesday, Taiwan had received 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca purchased from the manufacturer in March, 199,200 doses obtained through COVAX in April, and another 410,400 doses delivered via COVAX on 19 May.
Taiwan has also purchased 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and has taken delivery of a total of 800,000 doses in three shipments, in May and June. In June, it has also received 2.5 million of the Moderna vaccine donated by the United States government.