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Taiwan to expand COVID vaccine access to seniors over 64, food deliverers

ROC Central News Agency

06/22/2021 08:26 PM

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Taiwan will expand the coverage of its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program from July 1 to include seniors aged between 65-74, postal workers, food deliverers and others, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday.

The expansion will cover individuals in categories 7 and 8 of the COVID-19 vaccine priority list, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (ι™³ζ™‚δΈ­) said at the daily press briefing in Taipei.

Chen, who also heads the CECC, said people who have already received their first vaccine dose, whether the AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccine, will also be able to get their second jab of the same vaccine starting July 1.

According to the CECC, Category 8 covers people aged 65-74 and indigenous people aged 55-64.

The original Category 7 includes members of the armed forces, administrative personnel in the military and national security agencies, police officers who do not carry out COVID-19 prevention work, military police, essential workers in key industries such as energy, water, communications and transportation, employees in the transportation and logistics industries, employees at schools up to high school level, frontline media reporters and workers of nursery schools and daycare centers.

The CECC later expanded its Category 7 list to also include the nation's frontline postal workers, as well as those working in the traditional market, food delivery and transportation sectors in Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung and Taoyuan. It noted that transportation includes taxi drivers, intercity bus drivers and truck drivers. Babysitters in New Taipei and Taipei are also included.

Earlier Tuesday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (θ˜‡θ²žζ˜Œ) said these individuals were added because they belong to high-risk groups as northern Taiwan remains at the epicenter of Taiwan's COVID-19 outbreak.

Taiwan has received only 4.8 million vaccine doses. These include 390,000 doses of Moderna purchased by Taiwan, 2.5 million doses of Moderna donated by the United States, and over 1.9 million doses of AstraZeneca -- 1.24 million donated by Japan and 726,600 purchased from the manufacturer and through the United Nations vaccine distribution program COVAX.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, a little over 1.61 million doses of the vaccines had been administered in Taiwan, out of a population of 23 million people.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chen Chien-ling, Chiang Hui-chun and Ko Lin)


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