CORONAVIRUS/Premier, health minister receive first AstraZeneca jabs in Taiwan

03/22/2021 11:28 AM
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Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) receives his AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab Monday / Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) receives his AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab Monday / Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan

Taipei, March 22 (CNA) Taiwan on Monday began administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) receiving the first shots.

After getting his jab at National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, Su told reporters that he felt no pain or discomfort and he hoped the public would follow his lead and get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Shuang Ho Hospital Superintendent Wu Mai-szu (吳麥斯), the first medical worker in Taiwan to get the AstraZeneca shot, said it was like taking any other vaccine and he was not at all worried.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) / Photo courtesy of the CECC
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) / Photo courtesy of the CECC

According to Wu, the majority of staffers at his hospital had expressed willingness to get the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine program in Taiwan started Monday at 57 designated hospitals, after the country received its first batch of 117,000 AstraZeneca doses on March 3.

According to the Central Emergency Command Center, priority will be given to medical staff and other workers at hospitals, clinics and quarantine centers, and then to people working in the field of epidemic prevention.

Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase a total of 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 4.76 million doses of unspecified brands through the COVAX allocation program.

To date, however, Taiwan has managed to obtain only 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca.

(By Phoenix Hsu, Chen Chun-hua, Shen Pei-yao and Ko Lin)

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