Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei has been fined NT$300,000 (US$10,750) for allegedly administering COVID-19 vaccines to former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) and his wife, as well as to eight volunteers at the hospital, as they were not on the nation’s vaccination priority list, Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) said on Thursday.
The hospital reportedly vaccinated 84-year-old Lien and his 78-year-old wife, Lien Fang Yu (連方瑀), citing humanitarian considerations, as he was undergoing treatment at the hospital for a malignant tumor.
The hospital allegedly also gave COVID-19 shots to eight volunteers who were not on the central government’s priority list, Huang said.
While some categories of healthcare volunteers are on the priority list, the eight were not eligible because they had no volunteer service records and were not registered with the Taipei Department of Health, she said.
The health department fined the hospital NT$300,000 on Tuesday, based on the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法), Huang said.
Asked about former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who wrote on Facebook that he had received his vaccination at the hospital, Huang said that the department is investigating the facility’s vaccination practices.
On Wednesday, Ting said that the hospital on May 26 notified him that he is in the top vaccine priority group, adding that he later received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine there.
The Central Epidemic Command Center’s vaccination list gives top priority to medical workers, older people and at-risk groups, as Taiwan is fighting to control the spread of COVID-19 amid a shortage of vaccines.
Some people have been jumping the line to get vaccinated, using their privilege and connections.
Two Taipei facilities, Good Liver Clinic and Dianthus Pediatric Clinic, were earlier this month fined NT$4 million and NT$2.3 million respectively for administering vaccines to people who were not eligible.
To date, 7 percent of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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