On December 30, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that it has negotiated with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to procure approximately 20 million doses, including 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 also 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:
(1) Medical personnel
(2) Disease prevention staff at central and local governments
(3)Essential personnel who maintain normal functions of society
(4) Long-term care, social welfare workers and personnel, and caregivers
(6) Elderly aged 65 years old or older
(7) Persons who are 19 to 64 years old and are at high risk of severe disease
(8) People who have rare diseases or major illness and injuries
(9) Adults aged 50 to 64 years old.
Related vaccine policies will be modified on a rolling basis depending the status of the pandemic in Taiwan, 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.