TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday (Jan. 3) announced the country's first-dose COVID vaccination rate had surpassed 80%, while its fully vaccinated rate had passed 69%.
Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced that 80% of the population had received at least one dose of vaccine, while 69.13% had received two doses. Chen on Sunday (Jan. 2) announced that 0.02% had received an additional dose and 0.66% had taken a booster shot.
Chen pointed out that an additional dose (third dose) is available immediately for people with immune deficiency disorders and low immunity due to health conditions. He stressed that after receiving their second dose, they do not need to wait five months to receive their third dose.
For the general population, it is recommended that they wait five months after their second dose before receiving a booster shot. Chen said that out of the 400,000 people who are now eligible for a booster dose, very few have opted to receive one.
As to whether the five-month interval between the second dose and booster shot can be shortened, Chen called on experts to revaluate the recommended waiting period. He called on those eligible to receive their booster as soon as possible.
In October last year, the CECC had set a milestone of 70% first-dose vaccination and 60% second-shot inoculation as a point at which it would consider gradually reopening Taiwan's borders. However, with the emergence of Omicron across the globe, the government has stopped listing vaccination milestones as a standard by which the borders could be opened.
Instead, the CECC is staking a defensive posture with epidemic prevention hotels considered the front lines of defense. Chen on Sunday said the focus is on eliminating the risk of infection while guests stay inside epidemic prevention hotels, when they leave, and when they are being transported in epidemic prevention vehicles.