TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (Feb. 19) announced the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines should arrive in the country as soon as next week.
During a press conference on Friday, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that over 300,000 healthcare workers will be prioritized for the first batch of vaccines. There are four other groups slated to receive the early batches of vaccines comprising more than 500,000 professionals from frontline fields.
Although Taiwan is not on the official printed list of recipients from the World Health Organization's COVAX platform, it is among five to eight non-U.N. member states that have been allotted 1,303,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Chuang said that of this batch, Taiwan has been allotted 200,000 doses, which should arrive in the country as soon as next week.
He estimates that this will enable inoculations to commence by March. Chuang said the first priority group to receive the vaccines will be 332,000 healthcare workers.
The second priority group consists of important epidemic prevention officials, frontline epidemic prevention personnel who may come in contact with cases, borough chiefs, and drivers who transport potentially infected passengers from the airport to quarantine facilities for a total of about 140,000 people. The third group in line for the vaccines are approximately 90,000 police, military police, and other officers who maintain public order.
The fourth group in line to receive the shots includes approximately 158,000 persons employed in maintaining the social welfare system. The fifth group prioritized to receive the injections are about 200,000 soldiers who maintain national security and normal operation.