TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A recent coronavirus outbreak involving crew members of China Airlines (CAL) has prompted more people in Taiwan to get vaccinated against the disease, soothing previous concerns about public lack of interest in vaccination.
The local outbreak, which began when a CAL cargo pilot tested positive for COVID-19 on April 21 after flying to Australia, had expanded to 35 individuals as of Monday afternoon (May 10). These included 13 pilots and one flight attendant, six employees and one contractor at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, and 14 family members.
The outbreak has sparked concerns of widespread transmission since many of the confirmed cases had visited restaurants, grocery stores, and other public spaces prior to their diagnosis. As a result, more Taiwanese have registered to get a jab.
According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, 92,049 adults have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine since the rollout began on March 22. Among these, 24,760 took advantage of the self-paid program that opened April 21.
On May 6, Taiwan saw 6,461 people receive a shot, a single-day high for the country that is four times the average rates in March and April. The government is hoping this elevated rate will continue in order to keep the two shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine it has secured, which are set to expire in less than a month, from going to waste.