CECC expects to deliver first vaccines as early as March 2021

Foreigners without ARCs will not be allowed to enter Taiwan starting Jan. 1, 2020. (Photo courtesy of the CECC)

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced Wednesday that it has negotiated with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to procure approximately 20 million doses.

Procurement plans include 4.76 million doses through COVAX, and 10 million doses from AstraZeneca, and some doses from another vaccine maker, which is still under discussion.

The vaccine doses are expected to be delivered as early as March 2021, and the vaccine cold chain system required has been planned. The CECC is reportedly in talks with several other vaccine manufacturers whose vaccines have entered phase 3 of clinical trials.

The CECC pointed out that 65 percent of Taiwan’s population should be covered under the vaccine procurement plan, and that with each person requiring two doses, it expected to purchase 30 million doses.

Furthermore, those doses will be funded by the government and provided to groups of people prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. The priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination are listed below.

To begin with, medical personnel, followed by disease prevention staff at central and local governments, essential personnel who maintain normal functions of society and long-term care, social welfare workers and personnel, and caregivers.

Next, the CECC recommends vaccinating soldiers, elderly aged 65 years old or older, and people who are 19 to 64 years old and are at high risk of severe disease.

Last but not least, people who have rare diseases or major illnesses and injuries and all adults aged 50 to 64 years old, the CECC said in a press release.

Related vaccine policies will be modified on a rolling basis depending on the status of the pandemic in Taiwan, the volume of vaccines procured, and eligible persons. Moreover, the CECC will evaluate whether a self-paid vaccination program should be made available for people with emergency and special needs.