East Coast Starts Administering Vaccine Shots 花東兒童疫苗開打 高中以下續暫停實體課

P. Hsu
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The East Coast area also received the Pfizer-BNT vaccine for children this week. All physical classes from high school level and below will continue to be suspended in Hualian and Taitung counties,  due to high infection and mortality rate. 

The Pfizer-BNT vaccine has been offered to children across the country. Taitung County opened a centralized vaccination station for children aged 5 to 11 on the evening of June 1. The vaccination station in Taitung City is at Bausun Junior High School Activity Center. Taitung County sent mascots to appease the children. Vaccination stations in non-urban areas have been set up at local county health centers. Originally, the appointment rate was not high as parents were worried about the vaccine's side effects. However, some parents brought their children to get vaccinated without an appointment, increasing the vaccination rate to 90 percent.

Mr. Lu, Parent: “I am worried too. Because there are still side effects. We still have to avoid it. But the pros outweigh the cons.”

Taitung County has also launched in school vaccinations for children starting on June 2. Students who have been staying at home have gone back to school specifically to get vaccinated. Taitung County will work hard to vaccinate all children aged 5 to 11 in the county before June 10 so children go back to school. Currently, high schools and below in Taitung County have suspended in-person classes until June 10. Hualien County has suspended classes until June 8. This decision has many parents bewildered. However, both counties' education departments emphasized that students will be required to provide negative rapid test results before being allowed back at school.

Tseng Jo-mei, Head, Academic Mgmt. Section, Education Dept., Hualien County: “Teachers and parents were willing to temporarily suspend live teaching. Physical classes will be suspended until June 8 as we make time for students to be vaccinated.”

Lin Cheng-hung, Director, Education Department, Taitung County: “Suppose classes resume in two weeks. Do we want to do quick screening tests before resuming classes? We will look into this because this also depends on whether the number of quick screening tests is sufficient or not.”

The Hualien County Government stated that rapid tests have already been delivered to all schools, but Taitung County Education Department said that it may still require one to two thousand tests for school children. It will strive to get enough rapid test kits for its schools before they restart physical classes.