Cheng Hsin hospital fined for vaccinating ex-VP, non-priority persons

06/24/2021 09:40 PM
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Taiwan's former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰) and his wife. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei has been fined NT$300,000 (US$10,718) for administering COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan's former Vice President Lien Chan (連戰) and his wife, and to eight volunteers at the hospital who were not on the central government's priority list for the shots at the time, the city's Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan (黃珊珊) said Thursday.

According to reports, the hospital earlier this month vaccinated 84-year-old Lien, a former Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, and his 78-year-old wife Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀) against COVID-19, on humanitarian considerations, as he was being treated at the hospital for a malignant tumor.

In addition, Cheng Hsin also gave COVID-19 shots to eight volunteers who were not on the government's priority list, Huang said.

While healthcare volunteers are on the priority list, the eight people were not eligible for vaccination because they had no written volunteer service records and were not registered with the city's health department, Huang said.

The health department, therefore, fined Cheng Hsin General Hospital NT$300,000 on Tuesday, she said, citing the Communicable Disease Control Act.

Meanwhile, commenting on a Facebook post by former KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung's (丁守中) about his vaccination at Cheng Hsin, Huang said the health department has embarked on a general investigation into the hospital's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

In the post Wednesday, Ting said he had been notified May 26 by Cheng Hsin that he was in the central government's top priority group for vaccination, and he had since received his first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) vaccination list gives top priority to medical workers, the elderly and at-risk groups, as Taiwan fights to control its COVID-19 caseload amid a severe shortage of vaccines for its 23.5 million people.

Some people, however, have been jumping the line to get vaccinated, using their privilege and connections.

Recently, Good Liver Clinic and the Dianthus Medical Group in Taipei were fined NT$4 million and NT$2.3 million, respectively, for administering vaccines to people who were not on the central government's priority list for COVID-19 shots.

To date, only 7 percent of Taiwan's 23.5 million population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

(By Chen Yu-ting, Chen Yi-hsuan and Evelyn Kao)

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