CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to roll out Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adults on Sept. 25

09/11/2021 08:25 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwan will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID-19 vaccine to eligible adults on Sept. 25, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

At the CECC's daily press briefing, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the first rollout of the BNT vaccine in Taiwan for adults will take place from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2.

The rollout will target three groups of people who have not been vaccinated yet and will have listed the BNT vaccine as a choice on the government's vaccine registration system by noon on Sept. 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC.

They include people who are 18-22 years old, seniors who are 65 years old and over, and those who are over 39 years old and listed as part of at-risk groups due to health reasons, he added.

From 10 a.m. Sept. 20 to Sept. 22 noon, the government system will be accepting vaccination bookings, Chen said.

To date, Taiwan has taken delivery of about 1.84 million BNT vaccine doses, 1.25 million doses of which would be reserved for people 12-17 years old, an age group that is the government's top priority for the vaccine brand.

Students in that age group do not have to sign up for the government system in order to receive a BNT jab, and they will be vaccinated at school starting Sept. 23, according to the CECC.

However, there are some exceptions.

People in that age group who are homeschooled students, dropouts, or are not enrolled at schools in Taiwan but wish to obtain a BNT vaccine should register on the government system from 10 a.m. Sept. 14 to Sept. 17 noon, the CECC said.

In addition, students who wish to be vaccinated individually at medical facilities rather than at school are also required to do so during the same period.

Their vaccination awaits further notice, the CECC said.

Asked if Taiwan would soon approve the use of the BNT vaccine on children aged 5-11, Chen said the issue will be discussed and decided later by experts from the Food and Drug Administration.

The question was raised at the CECC briefing on Saturday as foreign media have reported that the United States' drug regulator could approve the emergency use authorization (EUA) for children in that age group in October.

Meanwhile, people who received their first dose of the Medigen COVID-19 vaccine prior to Sept. 1 can also make an online appointment to obtain their second shot of the same brand via the government system from 10 a.m. Sept. 20 to Sept. 22 noon, Chen said.

The second shot of the Medigen vaccine will start being issued on Sept. 30 and last until Oct. 2, he added.

(By Chen Chieh-ling, Chang Ming-hsuan and Teng Pei-ju)

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