TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday (July 13) announced that its vaccine registration system is now open to all adults 18 and up, while on Monday (July 12) it indicated no more groups would be added to the 10 priority categories and that students will be the first to receive BioNTech jabs after they arrive in Taiwan.
During a press conference, Deputy CECC chief Chen Tsung-yen (陳宗彥) announced those in the ninth category, which includes adults between the ages of 18 and 64 with high-risk conditions, rare diseases, or serious injuries, can register on the official vaccination reservation website. In addition, everyone born in 2003 or earlier can input their vaccine preferences, whether for the AstraZeneca or Moderna jabs, or either.
On Monday, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that the CECC will no longer add to the existing 10 priority groups and that the BioNTech vaccine will first be given to students ages 12-18.
Currently, Taiwan has 3.72 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 3.3 million doses of the Moderna vaccine in stock. As of July 11, about 1.89 million AstraZeneca and 1.56 million Moderna doses have been injected.
This leaves 1.72 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 1.73 million Moderna jabs still available for the public. In response to calls to include more people in the 10 existing categories of prioritized recipients, such as drivers for people with disabilities, Chen said that at this stage, the CECC is not planning on adding any more groups.
Chen said the CECC is expecting to start vaccinating the ninth and tenth priority categories as soon as July 16. He said that the center is planning on opening up vaccinations to people under the age of 50 who are not in the 10 priority categories as quickly as possible.
As for the 10 million doses being donated by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) and Foxconn founder Terry Gou's (郭台銘) charity the Yonglin Foundation, Chen said that because BioNTech's is the only vaccine available for young people between the ages of 12 and 18, this age group will be prioritized for the jabs. He said the Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had raised the topic Monday during an interim meeting to prepare for the inoculation of students.
Cabinet Spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) on Monday stated that Taiwan will purchase more Moderna doses in addition to the 5.05 million doses it has already bought. He estimated that at least 15 million more doses of that vaccine will be purchased over the next two years.
To register for vaccination, visit the 1922.gov.tw website. Once on the website, those who do not yet qualify for vaccination can indicate their preferences by clicking the box on the left, while people who are already qualified can reserve their inoculation by clicking the box on the right.