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Kids under 6 eligible for free rapid COVID tests in Taiwan

Each kid can acquire five at-home test kits for early intervention

Rapid COVID test kits.

Rapid COVID test kits. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Families with kids aged 0 to 6 will be eligible for five free at-home COVID-19 test kits from June 1, the health authorities announced Friday (May 27). Children born on or after Jan. 1, 2016, are qualified.

The screening tools will be distributed at 5,000 designated pharmacies or health centers nationwide throughout June. A National Health Insurance (NHI) card for an infant or toddler is required to access the free kit, while newborns who have not obtained the NHI card can pick it up afterward, according to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control.

Preschoolers whose ID number ends in 1, 3, 5, 7, or 9 can acquire a pack of the rapid tests on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Those whose ID number ends in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 can do so on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Sunday is open to all.

As a reminder, the self-administered test tools can only be applied to children aged 2 and above. Parents with kids under 2 are advised to use them themselves, said the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The measure aims to better protect youngsters as Taiwan has yet to clear COVID inoculation for children under 5. Sporadic and severe cases in kids during the recent outbreak have jolted the CECC into action, by gearing up hospitals for potential cases and urging parents to watch out for eight precursor symptoms.