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Taiwan encourages visa overstayers to get vaccinated, promises no arrests

CECC head says same cannot be guaranteed for people who have committed other crimes

Taiwan encourages visa overstayers to get vaccinated, promises no arrests

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Monday (Dec. 6) encouraged the public to take available doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, some of which will expire soon.

He also promised that unaccounted for migrant workers and other visa overstayers will not be arrested for getting the jab, CNA reported.

To prevent the near-expired Moderna from going to waste, the CECC and local governments have introduced incentives for people to get it as soon as possible, including setting up Moderna vaccination stations at some public places, such as Taipei Main Station, supermarkets, and department stores. At the same time, vouchers worth NT$100 (US$3.6) will be given to vaccine recipients, along with other gifts.

Chen said at Monday’s COVID-19 briefing that some defrosted Moderna doses are nearing their expiration dates. Three batches of the vaccines containing 34,104, 5,712, and 45,318 doses will expire on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, respectively, he added.

According to last week’s vaccination volume, Taiwan administered about 13,000-14,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine a day. Therefore, the government will be hard-pressed to use these other doses so quickly, the CECC head said.

When asked by media whether unaccounted for migrant workers or other foreigners overstaying their visas are eligible, Chen promised they will not get nabbed for coming out to get vaccinated. “We can fully guarantee that,” he added, per CNA.

However, Chen said he could not make any guarantees for people who had committed other crimes.

CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said people overstaying their visas will be eligible for vaccinations if they produce their expired residence permit, National Health Insurance card, or passport, which will only be used to verify their identification, per CNA.