People who have booked an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19, but are unable to get the jab if a typhoon day is announced, would be able to book a new appointment the following week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
More than 8.86 million people in the sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th priority groups for vaccination, as well as people aged 18 to 49, had registered to get vaccinated on the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system as of 12pm on Monday, the deadline for the latest round of vaccinations.
However, two typhoons have formed near Taiwan and are likely to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the nation over the next few days.
Vaccination locations would be closed if a local government suspends work due to a typhoon, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
He said that 1,529,148 people yesterday had been sent a text message informing them that they were eligible to book an appointment.
As of 1pm, 752,610 people, or 49.22 percent, had booked a time, he said.
People who book an appointment, but do not get vaccinated due to a typhoon day would automatically be eligible for the next round of vaccinations and would receive a new text message, Chen added.
Asked whether COVID-19 restrictions would be eased if a typhoon makes landfall, Chen said that people should wear a mask unless an emergency such as a flood arises, when “of course protecting life and personal safety is the most important matter.”
Reporters asked at the CECC’s daily news conference in Taipei why some young people had received a text message and successfully booked an appointment when they did not have a disease that would put them in the ninth priority group.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman, said that such people might have been diagnosed with a condition listed as a high-risk disease in the past year, but have forgotten about it.
The CECC would discuss with Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), who designed the booking system, to determine whether anything is wrong with it, Chen said.
Chen urged people in the first to third priority groups, as well as pregnant women, who have received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine to book an appointment for the second dose as soon as possible.
As of Monday, 5,419,988 vaccines had been administered in Taiwan, coverage of 22.48 percent, CECC data showed.
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