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People in 24 fields in Taiwan required to get COVID booster starting April 22

Gymgoers, religious pilgrims, tour guides, and staff in 24 different fields must get booster

Man wears mask and googles while lifting doing bench press in gym.

Man wears mask and googles while lifting doing bench press in gym. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Monday announced that COVID booster shots will become mandatory for people in 24 different fields beginning April 22.

During a press conference on Friday (April 15), CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) announced a record-shattering 1,209 local COVID cases for that day. Given the rapid surge in COVID cases, Chen said that it will be mandatory for individuals in the first, second, third, and seventh priority groups, people in correctional institutions, funeral home workers, and staff in 24 fields to receive their third COVID vaccine dose starting on April 22.

Chen added that people who frequently come into contact with unfamiliar people or cannot maintain social distancing with large groups of people and have been assessed to have a higher risk of transmission should also receive the booster shot. Chen said examples of such people include religious pilgrims, people who take part in religious ceremonies, and tour agency employees because they may share the same quarters, ride the same tour bus, and eat together.

He pointed out that workers in the adult entertainment industry have been required to have three doses since April 1. As for people who go to gyms, he strongly recommended they get their third shot and wear a mask as much as possible.

According to the CECC, the individuals in the first, second, third, and seventh priority groups include medical personnel, central and local government epidemic personnel, high-risk front-line staff members, and those who "maintain the national security and normal functioning of society."

The 24 categories of venues in which a booster will be required are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Labor, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, including school campuses, community colleges, cram schools, wedding venues, cinemas, childcare centers, and massage clinics.

According to CECC statistics, there have been 50,693,438 COVID doses administered. As for the vaccine coverage rates, 83.99% of the population has had the first dose, 79.17% have received the second dose, and 53.85% have been given the booster shot.

The 24 venues include the following:

K-12 schools
After-school care centers for children
Community colleges
Short-term cram schools
Senior learning centers
Competitive and leisure sports venues
Swimming pools
Performing arts teams in high school and below
Video program broadcasting venues
Video game arcades
K book centers
Audiovisual singing venues
Board game and Mahjong halls
Conference and exhibition venues
Adult entertainment industries
Large-scale banquet and wedding venues
Beauty salons
Vocational training locations
Community-based health and welfare promotion activities
Health and welfare Institutions (community type)
Community-based services for dementia
Parent-child centers (childcare resource centers)
Massage clinics