The Keelung City Health Bureau has launched an investigation into the vaccination of 450 local high school students, who were given a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago, despite a central government decision to hold off on second BNT shots for teenagers.
At a city council meeting Wednesday, Keelung Councilman Lin Min-hsun (???) said that 450 students at the city's Nuannuan Senior High School (NNSH) had received their second Pfizer-BioNTech dose on Oct 29.
The city's health bureau chief Wu Tse-cheng (???) told CNA that the bureau had notified medical facilities and schools in the city in mid-October to hold off on providing the vaccines to 12-17 year-olds, and only NNSH's students had received the second doses.
As of press time, no students have been reported to have developed any adverse reactions other than common side effects, Wu said.
The central government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had decided earlier this week to hold off on administering second doses to the 12-17 age group due to concerns over myocarditis and pericarditis.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine that has been offered to the 12-17 age group in Taiwan. The rollout of first doses for 12-17 year-olds began on Sept. 22.
Cases of myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart, have been reported in recipients of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna brands, worldwide.
The bureau said that the case is still under investigation, and it will review and improve its overall process management in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Wu also said that the bureau will keep track of the students' health conditions.
When asked if there was any negligence on the part of the medical facilities, Wu did not answer directly but instead said that the medical staff were doing their job and working very hard.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel