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Taiwan announces 'vaccine + 1' COVID jab campaign

Unvaccinated, under-vaccinated, and unboosted residents eligible for 'vaccine + 1' shots

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Woman winces from COVID shot. 

Woman winces from COVID shot.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan opens its borders and eases its epidemic prevention measures, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced the "vaccine + 1" program, which encourages people who are unvaccinated, under-vaccinated, or unboosted for COVID to receive at least one jab this year.

CECC head Victor Wang (王必勝) said at a press conference on Thursday (Feb. 23) the general population will be encouraged to receive at least one COVID shot per year, while individuals at high-risk of developing serious symptoms from the virus will be advised to get two jabs annually. He said the "vaccine + 1" project will be launched on March 6 and last until April 30.

Under the "vaccine + 1" campaign, three groups of people will be encouraged to get COVID shots, including:

  • Those who have not yet received a single COVID vaccination dose
  • People who have not completed the basic COVID vaccine course of two shots
  • Individuals aged 6 and over who have not yet received the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech BA.5-adapted bivalent boosters

Wang said this campaign is intended to promote the active vaccination of people who have not completed the basic COVID vaccination course and have not received the mRNA BA.5-adapted bivalent boosters this year. As for people who have already contracted COVID, they are not eligible for vaccination until more than three months (84 days) from the date they were diagnosed with the virus.

If a person has already received two vaccine doses, the third dose must not be administered until three months after receiving the most recent jab. The shot received by people who have already opted for the BA.5-adapted bivalent vaccine as of Jan. 1 will be added to their annual COVID vaccination tally.

March 6 has been set as the starting date due to the many closures during the 228 Memorial Day holiday. In addition, March has been selected to give local governments time to arrange contracted medical institutions to provide vaccination services, and set up community vaccination stations to improve inoculation accessibility.

The remaining doses of vaccines include:

  • 127,630 doses of Modena
  • 2,467,208 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech (including 1,365,610 doses for infants, 949,450 doses for children, and 152,148 doses for adults)
  • 199,490 doses of Novavax
  • 897,650 doses of BA.1-adapted bivalent boosters
  • 1,553,250 doses of the BA.5-adapted bivalent boosters

For information about where COVID vaccinations are being offered, visit the CDC page of participating institutions. There is also a map showing the locations of these institutions and a page listing vaccination centers by city and county.