Less than one-third of Taiwan’s medical professionals willing to take Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Preliminary results from a survey of medical personnel working in hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients in Taiwan has revealed that less than 33% are willing to take the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said today, March 16.

With results received from 90% of those asked to take the survey, 32.7% responded that they were willing to receive what many media agencies euphemistically refer to as “the jab.”

“About 90 percent of medical personnel at those hospitals, or about 183,000 people, have responded to the survey so far, and about 32.7 percent, said they were willing to get the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine,” Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.

Doctors and nurses working directly with COVID-19 patients showed a slightly higher willingness to be injected with the AstraZeneca shot, at 43%, but others working at the same hospitals, but not directly in the “front line” dragged the stats down, with only 28% willing to receive it, according to the CECC survey.

Taiwan has received a batch of 117,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. After undergoing safety tests by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a meeting will be held later today, Wednesday, March 17, to decide whether the product meets Taiwan’s safety standards.

According to the BBC, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is “made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness.”

“Once injected, it teaches the body’s immune system how to fight the real virus, should it need to.”

Many countries have suspended use of the vaccine due to safety concerns, including The Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Latvia, Germany, France, Spain, Indonesia, Slovenia, Thailand, Congo, Bulgaria, and Portugal.

It’s not easy to get a clear-cut answer to how many countries have actually suspended roll-out of the vaccine.

When Taiwan’s CECC spokesman was asked by a reporter Monday, “How many countries have suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the spokesperson at first refused to answer.

When pressed again, appearing flustered, he responded “Why do you want me to tell you?” And then suggested the reporters could find the information on the Internet.

The World Health Organization has recommended that countries continue to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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