The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced that those eligible for the 11th round of COVID-19 vaccinations would begin to book appointments on two separate days.
Those eligible for their first dose of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine can book a vaccination appointment from 10am on Monday next week, while those eligible for a second dose of AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine can book an appointment from 10am on Tuesday next week, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesperson.
A reminder text message is to be sent to those eligible from 2pm on the day before they can book an appointment, he said.
Photo: Lee Jung-ping, Taipei Times
Regarding Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s (高端疫苗) vaccine, Chuang said that anyone aged 20 or older who has not yet received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is eligible to book a vaccination appointment directly with a contracted healthcare facility or a hospital affiliated with the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Those who received their first dose of the Medigen vaccine more than 28 days ago can book an appointment for the second directly with a healthcare facility, without going through the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, he added.
As more of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been arriving in Taiwan than other vaccine brands, the center has been asked whether it would consider allowing the mix-and-match approach.
Eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech has been expanded to those aged 47 or older, as well as young people aged 12 to 22, so if more shipments of the brand arrive soon, eligibility is likely to be extended to those aged 12 or older who have yet to receive their first dose, Chuang said.
Yesterday, the center reported no new local COVID-19 infections or deaths, but there were five imported cases, including one breakthrough case: a Taiwan-based airline pilot who became infected.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the pilot lives in Taipei.
She quarantined for five days at a hotel after returning to Taiwan and tested negative in a polymerase chain reaction test before going home for enhanced self-health management, but tested positive on Tuesday, with a cycle threshold (CT) value of 33, he said in response to media queries.
The case is temporarily listed as an imported case, Chen said.
Chuang said that a second test yesterday morning showed that her CT value had dropped to 22, indicating a higher viral load, while an antibody test indicated that she had contracted the virus recently.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that AstraZeneca was the vaccine used in the three previous cases of breakthrough infections involving Taiwan-based airline pilots, while this pilot had received Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine.
The pilot had contact with her two children at home, so their two classes at two elementary schools were suspended as a precaution.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said that 114 students and teachers at two elementary schools — in Daan District (大安) and Wenshan District (文山) — as well as a cram school at which the two children studied in on Mondays and Tuesdays, have been ordered to practice enhanced self-health management.
The two classes are to be suspended for five days — until Sunday — and the students and teachers were instructed to get tested for COVID-19 from yesterday, she said.
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