Children 12-18 to receive BNT jabs after Mid-Autumn Festival: CECC

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced on Monday that children aged between 12 and 18 will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine after the Mid-Autumn Festival.

According to the CECC, those who have turned 12 before Sept. 1 can receive vaccines starting on Sep. 23.

Those who cannot be vaccinated at school due to special circumstances or have no student status can also make appointments through the national vaccination registration system, the CECC added.

Vaccination procedures will be primarily held on campus, the CECC said.

It is estimated that after the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday (Sept. 23), the vaccination sequence will begin from high schools and five-year junior college programs.

A guideline will also be available for schools to reference, including preparation and precautions before vaccination, doctor vaccination evaluation, observation after vaccination, reminders of precautions after students go home, etc.

According to the Ministry of Education (MOE, 教育部), schools will be asked to vaccinate students, observe students’ physical condition, adjust the course content in a timely manner, and arrange the curriculum so that students can refrain from physical exertions.

If students feel unwell after vaccination or voluntarily go to medical institutions for vaccination, they can apply to the school for 3 days of vaccine leave, which will not be included in the absence record, the MOE said.

If necessary, the vaccine leaves can be extended and parents can also apply for epidemic-prevention care leave if they need to take care of their children, the MOE added.

The Minister of the MOE Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) emphasized that vaccination is not compulsory, and students should ten to their own needs and personal wishes to determine whether or not to receive the vaccines.

He asked that parents and children read the “BNT COVID-19 vaccine instruction” manual carefully, and sign their names to be eligible for receiving vaccines.

Pan pointed out that in the process of evaluating whether to vaccinate or not, parents should discuss with their children and respect their children’s wishes.

Pan and the CECC also stressed that no one should be discriminated against for not receiving the vaccines should they choose not to.