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Taiwan's PX Mart could offer COVID vaccinations as soon as next week

Taiwan Railways Administration may also offer vaccinations at some stations

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Entrance to PX Mart store.

Entrance to PX Mart store. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — PX Mart could begin COVID vaccinations at its stores across Taiwan as soon as next week, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

During a press conference on Friday (Dec. 3), CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said vaccination stations could be set up at PX Mart stores as early as next week. He said that just one brand of vaccine would be offered, while the retailer has 174 stores nationwide.

Given the threat of the new Omicron variant and with 9.5 million available doses of vaccine yet to be administered, the CECC plans to step up the pace of vaccinations by offering jabs at convenience stores, shopping malls, and retailers — as is the case in other countries. On Thursday (Dec. 2), the CECC revealed that Pingtung County has taken the lead in setting up vaccination stations in department stores and PX Mart branches.

Chuang said that health departments in Taiwan's counties and cities are assessing the best locations to provide vaccinations, with many likely to start administering vaccinations next week. He said that health departments will determine which brands to administer at the venues, but will only allow inoculations of one brand per location to minimize mistakes.

The spokesman stressed that if a local health department deems a business to be suitable, they will set up an inoculation site but retailers "will not be forced to establish stations." He added that in addition to PX Mart, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has also expressed willingness to allow its stations to serve as vaccination venues.

Changhua Public Health Bureau Director Yeh Yen-po (葉彥伯) on Thursday said that five vaccination stations have been set up at PX Marts in the county. The county also plans to set up vaccination areas at Changhua Railway Station and Yuanlin Railway Station, as well as shopping malls.