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Reservations for self-paid COVID-19 vaccinations open in Taiwan

  • Reservations for self-paid COVID-19 vaccinations open in Taiwan
    People who get the vaccine using this method will have to pay up to NT$600 (US$21) per shot, in contrast to the NT$80-NT$200 per shot that those on the priority list are required to pay. Reservations for self-paid COVID-19 vaccinations open in Taiwan
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People who get the vaccine using this method will have to pay up to NT$600 (US$21) per shot, in contrast to the NT$80-NT$200 per shot that those on the priority list are required to pay.

 

Reservations for people in Taiwan not on priority lists to get a COVID-19 vaccination opened at 10 a.m. Monday, with spots in some hospitals filling up quickly.

In Taipei, four of the five hospitals offering COVID-19 vaccinations were fully booked within hours of the reservation system opening.

These include MacKay Memorial Hospital, where over 1,400 people booked slots scheduled before April 30, and National Taiwan University Hospital, where all 540 slots available over the next two weeks were filled.

Openings have also been filled in New Taipei, Taoyuan and Tainan cities, according to the hospitals' reservation websites.

The reservation program was launched after the government had trouble convincing those eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which could result in many imported vaccine doses going unused before their expiration date.

The rollout, which officially began on March 22, made the vaccine available to four categories of people on the Central Epidemic Command Center's (CECC) priority list, including medical personnel, epidemic prevention workers, and people with a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their jobs.

The reservation system Monday was open to people not on the priority list but who intend to travel abroad for business, study or medical purposes.

People who get the vaccine using this method will have to pay up to NT$600 (US$21) per shot, in contrast to the NT$80-NT$200 per shot that those on the priority list are required to pay.

According to the latest CECC data, a total of 32,450 people have received a COVID-19 vaccine shot in Taiwan, or around 5 percent of the 618,000 that are currently eligible.

The slow pace of the rollout is in part due to resistance toward the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is the only brand Taiwan has received so far.

Under the current pace of vaccinations, it is unlikely that Taiwan will be able to use up its current supply of AstraZeneca vaccines before they expire, as 117,000 doses purchased directly from the company are due to expire on June 15 and 199,200 of the same brand supplied through COVAX expire on May 31.

At a press briefing on Monday, CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said 10,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are being allocated for self-paid vaccinations, and more doses could be shifted to this group if demand remains high.

Those interested in getting a self-paid vaccination can visit the CECC web page. It contains links for making reservations at the 31 hospitals offering the service, though the information is only available in Chinese.