NTUH head volunteers to be first to receive AstraZeneca vaccine

The photo collage shows Dr. Wu Ming-shiang (right), National Taiwan University Hospital. (The China Post/Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Dr. Wu Ming-shiang (吳明賢), superintendent of the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH, 台大醫院), said on Friday that he will soon receive a shot of the first batch AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. 

Earlier on Friday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that the AZ vaccine that arrived last week will be ready for testing on March 17 at the earliest. 

The healthcare workers who will be among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to start administering it next week.  

In a press conference on Friday, Dr. Wu said that NTUH has completed a survey on medical staff’s willingness to get vaccinated, and nearly 8,000 people have responded, with very few people unwilling to receive it.  

He also pointed out that NTUH also benefits employees who are willing to administer the vaccine, such as choosing which vaccine they would like to get and taking recovery leave.  

Asked about the number of people who do not want to receive the vaccine, Dr. Wu said that few people refused it, stressing that as long as the vaccine can be marketed, it has passed scientific examination, there is no worry.  

“Taiwan is a very well-developed country in terms of medical care, so we must have confidence,” he said.   

As many are concerned about the lower efficacy rates for the vaccines, Dr. Wu believes that the flu vaccine’s effectiveness is only 50% to 60% each year, and one year it even fell to 30% due to a wrong guess of the virus strain.   

Dr. Wu called on the public not to worry too much about the lower efficacy rates.  

There are many aspects of the new vaccination that need to be considered, such as the need to finish the dose within six hours of opening the package and the need for each person to receive two doses, he said.   

Therefore, it is very important to conduct a pre-survey, he said, adding that the NTUH has made all the preparations and is waiting for the vaccine to arrive.