COVID-19 vaccination data show low inoculation rates in cities and counties governed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus said yesterday.
The government’s inoculation efforts are a race to end the COVID-19 outbreak, with all local governments doing their best to vaccinate their residents, DPP caucus secretary-general Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told an online news conference.
Among the six special municipalities, Taoyuan led in inoculations of people aged 65 or older at 67.39 percent, followed by Kaohsiung with 57.78 percent, Tainan with 57.31 percent, New Taipei City with 55.49 percent, Taipei with 55.03 percent and Taichung with 54.88 percent, Lo said, citing data as of 10am on Wednesday.
Photo: Liao Huei-tung, Taipei Times
Among cities and counties, the top five were Hsinchu City with 72.15 percent, Pingtung County with 70.99 percent, Changhua County with 63.2 percent, Keelung with 59.08 percent and Chiayi City with 58.1 percent, he said.
The bottom five were Taitung County at 52.43 percent, Yilan County at 51.72 percent, Hsinchu County at 46.61 percent, Hualien County at 46.52 percent and Nantou County at 39.79 percent, he added.
Meanwhile, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said the KMT and the Hualien, Nantou, Taitung and Yunlin county governments are looking to collaborate with a pharmaceutical company to obtain an additional 5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The move follows a model used by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co-related Yonglin Foundation and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation.
The three have obtained Executive Yuan approval to procure 5 million doses each of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The Executive Yuan on Wednesday said it would not accept additional vaccine procurement applications at this time.
No country would authorize local governments to purchase vaccines, as this would affect the national epidemic prevention policy and the principle of equality, Lo said yesterday.
How the counties intend to fund their efforts to purchase vaccines and whether the vaccines would go to the central government for general distribution or the counties directly are questions that must be answered, he said.
The local vaccine procurement endeavor comes as the KMT chairperson election looms, the DPP said.
DPP caucus director-general Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said that she hoped to see local governments step up the pace of inoculation without sacrificing the quality of medical care, adding that the KMT’s attempt to tie its party chairperson election with the vaccine issue was not a good sign.
The KMT had scheduled its next chairperson election on Saturday next week, but postponed it due to the outbreak, with a new date yet to be announced.
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