Health minister restates vaccination priorities after clinic blunder

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) emphasized during Thursday’s press conference the priority order for vaccinations, especially the top three categories which consist of healthcare workers, government epidemic prevention personnel, and frontline workers. (Photo courtesy of the CECC via NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) restated on Thursday the priority order for vaccination among the top three categories — healthcare workers, government epidemic prevention personnel, and frontline workers.

The minister was responding to inquiries into an investigation at the Good Liver Clinic (好心肝診所) where it was confirmed that the clinic had obtained more than 100 bottles of vaccines and had administered the vaccine to over 1,000 people that weren’t on the top priority list.

Minister Chen explained that vaccines must be distributed among public health centers (轄區衛生所) or local clinics in order to reach the maximum number of people.

The Taipei City Department of Health (台北市衛生局) reportedly fined the Good Liver Clinic NT$2 million on Wednesday, for not distributing vaccines according to regulations set by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央疫情指揮中心).

As the Taipei City government was responsible for the distribution of vaccines to local clinics, they were also asked to submit a report regarding the matter and would be punished if regulations weren’t followed.

Chen further expressed hope that by next week, the first to sixth categories would be prioritized and vaccinated, as 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine will be released.