Taipei City Government carried out a " vaccine exercise" in elementary schools before they start giving the Moderna vaccine on May 5. However, officials worry that the imminent arrival of the Pfizer BNT may affect people's willingness to be vaccinated with Moderna.
Taipei City announced that the Moderna vaccine will be available for elementary school children starting on May 5. It held a simulated exercise on the 29th. Taipei City has made all preparations. It matched hospitals with schools and issued vaccination instructions and letters of will to parents. However, the central government announced on the evening of the 28th that it has completed the contract signing with Pfizer BNT and the children's vaccine will arrive in Taiwan in mid-May. Now it may affect people's willingness to be vaccinated with Moderna. Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun was not happy with the news.
Tsai Ping-kun, Taipei Deputy Mayor: “Get vaccinated now. And get vaccinated again when BNT arrives. I think it's really hard work for the overall medical system.”
Tsai said although he is happy that the Pfizer BNT vaccine will arrive in Taiwan, the administrative process must be repeated. This is a burden on hospitals. Additionally, there are still 6-year-old children in kindergartens, totaling about 10,000 kids that need to get vaccinated. Tsai called on the central government to inform its policy in advance so that local governments can cooperate better.
Chen Shun-he, Principal, Taipei Municipal Xingan Elementary School: “Not many parents have asked yet. But I believe that many parents have no intention at all of letting their kids get vaccinated. Or they didn't fill out the letter of intent the first time around and will probably fill it out later.”
Hsieh Fu-kai, Parent Association President, Taipei Municipal Xingan Elementary School: “I think more choices of different vaccines are a good thing for parents.”
Parents are optimistic about the Pfizer BNT vaccine arriving in Taiwan, with another option to evaluate. New Taipei Mayor Hou Yo-ih believes that a variety of options will give children a best vaccine choice.
Hou Yu-ih, New Taipei Mayor: “The timing of the vaccine coming into the country is not the same. But I respect everyone's choice. Be sure to choose the best vaccine so our children can be protected.”
Children's vaccines in New Taipei City are expected to start as soon as next week. The decision has not yet been finalized. The city government will arrange for hospitals to enter schools and vaccinate children. Children feeling unwell after vaccination can take a 3-day vaccination leave.