The Central Epidemic Command Center announced people aged 12 to 17 can get their second BNT doses starting on Dec. 20. Taipei, Taichung, and Yilan started allowing people aged 12 to 17 to get their second BNT doses on Dec. 16. Meanwhile, the Taipei City Government and National Taiwan University Hospital are working together to learn more about the risk of myocarditis in high-school age males after the second dose.
The Central Epidemic Command Center previously announced that people aged 12 to 17 would be able to get their second BNT dose starting on Dec. 20. Taipei, Taichung, and Yilan started ahead of time, on Dec. 16. Taipei Hwa Kang Arts School became the first school in Taipei to administer second doses. Students said they weren't worried about the side effects, while the school said the majority of parents consented to second doses for their children and 92 percent of students will receive second doses. The school also held a drill for online learning.
Lin Shih-hua, Student, Taipei Hwa Kang Arts School: “I'm a performer, the sequelae (of COVID-19) could severely affect my performing abilities. I don't want to get infected, since this could lead to even greater problems. That's why I got vaccinated.”
Ting Yung-ching, Principal, Taipei Hwa Kang Arts School: “There are only about 20 students here who didn't get vaccines. Their parents may have other considerations. The rest all cooperated.”
International studies show that high-school age males run the risk of developing myocarditis after receiving a second BNT dose. The Taipei City Government and National Taiwan University Hospital are working together to learn more about this risk. They are conducting ECGs on 5,803 male students who agreed to participate and that attend Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, Chenggong High School, Taipei Municipal Daan Vocational High School, and Taipei Municipal Nangang Vocational High School before they get the vaccine and two days after.
Lin Yu-jen, Student, Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School: “An ECG test is non-invasive, and I thought I might as well do it.”
Tsai Ping-kun, Taipei City Deputy Mayor: “We surveyed the vaccine willingness of 140,000 senior high and junior high school students, and 80 percent said they would get vaccinated on campus this time.”
NTUH said ECGs are non-invasive. Statistics show that 72 percent of the students at these four schools agreed to the test. Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je said the myocarditis risk for male high school students getting their second BNT dose is 10 times higher than that of female students, and this study's results will help to establish a national database.
Ko Wen-je, Taipei City Mayor: “We're establishing an ECG database on young Taiwanese people. Tests are conducted before they get the vaccine. We're trying to determine what the myocarditis risk is for those who get the vaccine.”
Ko said the study will first target male students, who are at the highest risk. ECGs will be conducted a second time within 48 hours after the second vaccine dose. Those with myocarditis symptoms will receive medical treatment.