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Homeland Security

COVID-19 vaccine rollout starts in Taiwan's armed forces

ROC Central News Agency

06/13/2021 03:47 PM

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Taiwan's military has started to administer the 45,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine it was allocated by the central government, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Sunday.

According to MND Spokesperson Shih Shun-wen (史順文), the vaccine received by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday is part of the 1.24 million AZ shots donated by Japan.

The armed forces started to administer the vaccine to military personnel on Sunday based on a priority list, Shih said, without providing any further information.

According to local media reports, the military has prioritized front-line military personnel, such as members of chemical units responsible for disinfection, medical personnel and pilots.

The MND is planning to establish vaccination stations at large-scale military bases nationwide and will send vaccination teams to troops stationed in remote mountainous areas, Shih added.

The military spokesperson' comments came after the CECC announced a day earlier that it allocated 45,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the nation's armed forces.

At present 11 personnel out of a total of about 180,000 in the ROC armed forces have been confirmed as contracting COVID-19, according to the MND.

To contain the spread of the coronavirus disease, the MND has postponed reservist call-ups and the live-fire component of this year's Han Kuang exercises until September.

The annual Han Kuang exercises, the largest drills involving all military branches, have been held annually in Taiwan since 1984. These involve tabletop and live-fire drills to test Taiwan's capability at repelling a possible military attack by China.

This year's tabletop drills were held from April 23-30.

The live-fire exercises were scheduled to start July 12 and run for five days.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)


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