The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged the government to increase incentives for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei that China, Israel, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US have higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than Taiwan.
While the global average of the number of vaccine doses administered per 100 people was 14.2, it is only 0.3 per 100 people in Taiwan, Wang said, citing foreign media reports.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
“We are far behind” in vaccination efforts, she said.
She asked how many COVID-19 vaccine deliveries the nation could expect to receive this month after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) had previously said that Moderna vaccines might arrive this month.
The CECC has not provided a timetable for a vaccination program, including when vaccines are to arrive and when they would be administered, Wang said, adding that the lack of information was not helping the nation’s fight against the virus.
The CECC should propose a better plan for increasing the vaccination rate, she said.
The Ministry of Labor is to announce an unpaid vaccination leave policy, but given the low vaccination rate, the CECC should consider offering additional incentives, she said.
The infections involving China Airlines and Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel personnel shows that a review of the CECC’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is warranted, Wang said.
The infections show that pilots have not been given adequate protection against infection while abroad, and central and local governments have failed to properly manage the quarantine hotel, she said.
The CECC must reinforce its measures aimed at protecting flight crew, she said.
The CECC has not made the best use of the resources it has, including domestically produced rapid test kits, to let people know if they have been infected, Taiwan Society of Preventive Medicine chairman Arthur Chen (陳宜民) said.
Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests are available in the US for people to use at home, he said.
KMT spokeswoman Daisy Chiang (江怡臻), who is also a New Taipei City Councilor, said that cities and counties governed by the KMT had stricter COVID-19 prevention measures than the central government and places governed by the Democratic Progressive Party.
For example, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) of the KMT ordered that Matsu pilgrimages, community Mother’s Day events and school anniversary celebrations be canceled or scaled down where possible, she said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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