《TAIPEI TIMES》 Those inoculated abroad can register, but no ‘yellow card’
Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen, who is also the deputy head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, promotes local tourism in Chiayi County on Wednesday last week. Photo: Ting Wei-chieh, Taipei Times
By Lee I-chia / Staff reporter
People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in other countries can register with the National Immunization Information System （NIIS） in Taiwan, but a vaccination document will not be issued, the Central Epidemic Command Center （CECC） said at its daily news briefing yesterday.
Those who have been inoculated with any of the six WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines can go to their local health department to register their overseas vaccination record with the NIIS after they return to Taiwan, but they will not receive a vaccination document, known locally as a “yellow card,” said Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen （陳宗彥）, who is also the deputy head of the CECC.
Those who have not been fully vaccinated can receive their second dose in Taiwan, he said.
The WHO-approved vaccines are: AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen, Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The atmosphere at the briefing turned a little testy when a reporter asked about the case of a Taiwanese who exchanged their “vaccination record from the mainland” for a yellow card after returning to Taiwan.
“Did you mean the person returned from ‘China?’” Chen asked. “Because when you said the mainland, I did not know what country you were referring to.”
Centers for Disease Control （CDC） Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang （莊人祥）, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that the local health department had recalled the yellow card from the person.
The CECC also reported one local COVID-19 infection and five imported cases.
The local case is a man in his 60s from New Taipei City who developed a fever on Saturday and tested positive for COVID-19 when he sought treatment on Sunday, Chen said.
The man’s cycle threshold value from his first polymerase chain reaction （PCR） test was 33.1, and his antibody test came back positive with both IgG and IgM antibodies, but he later tested negative in two more PCR tests, Chen said.
CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo （羅一鈞）, deputy chief of the CECC’s medical response division, said the man’s fever was most likely caused by a kidney inflammation, and his test results indicate the likelihood of a previously undiagnosed COVID-19 infection.
Chen said the five imported cases are from Malaysia, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
The CECC was also asked about complaints that many Taipei residents eligible for the 12th round of vaccination could not book an appointment in the city on Monday, when booking for the first phase of the 12th round began.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je （柯文哲） on Monday said that the city could only provide slots for 210,000 people to get vaccinated in the first phase, and that the CECC allowing 410,000 residents to qualify for vaccination caused problems.
In response, Chen yesterday presented a chart showing the vaccination slots opened by the six special municipalities for the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, as well as the number of eligible recipients in the six cities.
He said the CECC informs local governments beforehand how many residents are eligible in the next round of vaccination, so that they can prepare before bookings for appointments begin.
Based on past experience, about 80 percent of eligible recipients actually booked an appointment, so the center suggested that local governments arrange vaccination slots for at least 80 percent of eligible recipients, he said.
Chuang said the center had quickly coordinated with government agencies and healthcare facilities to provide an additional 45,280 vaccination appointment slots for people to book an appointment for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at five temporary vaccination stations.
The five stations are: the first floor of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the first floor of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, Huashan Arts District’s （華山藝文特區） West Building 2, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall’s （中正紀念堂） Exhibition Hall 1 and the Taiwan Contemporary Cultural Lab （空總臺灣當代文化實驗場） in Taipei, CECC information showed.