The epidemic situation continues to worsen in Taiwan, and there are not enough vaccines to go around. How to distribute the scant number of available vaccines is a test for central and local governments. It was recently reported that former Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Jong-wei had received a vaccine, leading to questions about his eligibility as he is under the age of 65 and is not a medical personnel or someone with a high risk of COVID-19 exposure.
There's probably no way to justify this. I have many friends who are medical personnel, and some of them haven't been vaccinated yet. I have relatives and friends who are police officers and firefighters, and they haven't been vaccinated yet either.
The county magistrate is the commander of the county's epidemic response, so she is considered to be an epidemic prevention worker. Former Magistrate Chang Jong-wei lives with her in the same household. That means that he qualifies as someone who lives in the same household as a person in the first, second, and third categories.
The county's Public Health Bureau explained that Chang Jong-wei lives in the same house as current Magistrate Chang Li-shan. The latter is the commander of the county's epidemic response, and those who live with her are therefore considered to be frontline workers at a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. However, the Central Epidemic Command Center said that at present, apart from Taipei and New Taipei City, only those in categories one through three can get vaccinated.
We want to specially remind local governments that the distribution of vaccines, including the first several batches, should be conducted based on the first, second, and third categories. Even if they open it up to additional categories in the future, there is a sequence, so counties and cities must implement this according to the first, second, and third categories.
The CECC also said there are no penalties for ineligible people who get vaccinated, and local governments must abide by the central government's priority list and categories when distributing and injecting vaccines.