Schools nationwide will start administering the Pfizer vaccine on students, starting next Wednesday. The Ministry of Education has announced that recipients can take up to three days of leave to recover from the vaccine. New Taipei plans to make even greater accommodations. The city mayor has ordered all schools to switch to distance learning for the two days following vaccination.

Pfizer vaccines are scheduled to roll out next week at schools around Taiwan. The Ministry of Education says students are permitted to take three days of vaccine leave that won’t be counted against them. New Taipei is taking aftercare a step further. All classes will be held remotely for two days after vaccination.

Hou Yu-ih

New Taipei mayor

We’re worried that kids might feel unwell after vaccination. So after reaching out to school principals and communicating over this issue, we’ve agreed that all classes will go online for two days after the first shot is administered. If students are still not feeling well after that, they can request vaccine leave, which won’t be marked as an absence.

Over in Taipei, the city says it will defer to central government guidelines. Schools will be allowed to adjust classes as they see fit.

Tsai Ping-kun

Taipei deputy mayor

According to central government rules, students can request up to three days of vaccine leave, which will not be considered absences. There are three schools that have plans of their own. One school says it will do one day of distance learning after the first vaccine dose is administered. The other two schools say they’ll do two days of distance learning.

As for Taoyuan, Kaohsiung and Tainan, they say their schools will offer vaccine leave only. Taichung says it’s still assessing the situation.

Lu Shiow-yen

Taichung mayor

We are still assessing how the Pfizer vaccine affects younger groups after administration as compared with adults. We’re looking at whether there are any differences.

New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih says that his city’s policy is based on data provided by the health ministry. According to government statistics, more than 50% of adolescents experience a headache after injection. But one doctor says that school accommodations should be made after the second dose, not the first.

Lin Ing-jan

Pediatrician

The Pfizer vaccine has milder side effects after the first shot, and more severe ones after the second shot. Some people may feel unwell after injection, but it shouldn’t be a large number. I think there won’t be too many students who feel unwell to the point of not wanting to attend class.

Meanwhile, parents have called on the government to offer on-site vaccination at primary schools for students aged exactly 12, who would otherwise need to go to a public clinic. The health minister said that organizing school-based clinics was not feasible for small groups of children, but that it would be possible if numbers hit a certain threshold.