Category Archives: outreach

Me and my wife right after our vaccine

How to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Taiwan

Written 2021-04-26

This morning I got my first shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. I got a lot of questions about how to access the vaccine here in Taiwan, so I thought I would write a post about it .

In general, vaccine supplies in Taiwan are currently very limited, but since few priority people are signing up to get vaccinated, the public health authorities have opened up a limited supply of shots (10,000) to people who are not on the priority list, but have some need to travel abroad (also from TW CDC website). Appointments open April 21 and will go until the shots are used up. (Although they may expand this program if its popular, which it is).

All this information is pretty time sensitive, so it might go out of date quickly. I also can only explain the process at the hospital I went to: NTU Hospital in Taipei. It may be different elsewhere.

And you need another reason to get a vaccine: “Arrivals in Taiwan who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 could be allowed to shorten their quarantine from 14 to seven days as soon as mid-May, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Monday.” (Focus Taiwan)

Registration

I got my vaccine at NTU hospital. Self-paid vaccines (i.e. if you’re not on the priority list) are offered only in the morning clinic (NTUH announcement). And you have to make a reservation though this specific portal (only available in Chinese). At the top of the page there is this notice for some reason, it only appear here, and not when you actually make your appointment.

* 「COVID-19疫苗自費接種門診」相關注意事項:
1.地點:位於中山南路7號-臺大醫院東址南棟1樓抗老及健康諮詢中心
(位置圖)
2.自費COVID-19疫苗接種僅開放家庭醫學部第19診。
3.請務必攜帶護照及身分證,本國人請加帶健保卡。
4.適用年齡:「AZ疫苗適用於18歲以上,因兒童臨床試驗資料有限,暫不建議兒童接種。」
5.報到:
    (1)初診報到時間:早上9:00~10:00,下午13:30~14:30。
    (2)最後報到時間時間:上午10:00,下午15:00。
6.自費接種費用:600元,限現金(含接種紀錄卡)。欲開立其他診斷說明書,需自費。
7.依報到順序看診。

Google translated English:
Precautions related to “COVID-19 Vaccine Self-Funded Vaccination Clinic”:

  1. Location: Located at No. 7 Zhongshan South Road-Anti-aging and Health Consultation Center, 1st Floor, South Building, East Site of National Taiwan University Hospital
    (Location Map)
  2. Self-funded COVID-19 vaccination is only open to the 19th clinic of the Department of Family Medicine.
  3. Please be sure to bring your passport and ID card, and nationals please bring a health insurance card.
  4. Applicable age: “AZ vaccine is suitable for over 18 years old. Due to limited clinical trial data for children, it is not recommended for children to be vaccinated at this time.”
  5. Check in:
    (1) First check-in time: 9:00~10:00 in the morning, 13:30~14:30 in the afternoon.
    (2) Last check-in time: 10:00 am, 15:00 pm.
  6. Self-funded vaccination fee: 600 yuan, cash only (including vaccination record card). If you want to issue other diagnostic instructions, you need to pay at your own expense.
  7. See a doctor in the order of registration.

Steps

  1. Open this link to pick an appointment date. Use google chrome browser on a laptop so you can use the automatic translation. Automatic translation doesn’t work on every step of the process, so keep your phone handy so you can use google translate camera mode.
  2. Pick a date (only morning clinic is available).
  3. Fill out the form:
    1. ID number (ARC number or passport number).
    2. Select the third radio button: “其他(護照號、居留證號及大陸居民來往台灣通行證等)”
    3. Select your nationality from the list (this is super hard because it’s not in alphabetical order). Chrome translation can make it a bit easier, but if not, 美國=USA, 加拿大= Canada.
    4. Enter your birthday with the ROC year. Subtract 1911 from your birth year in the Gregorian calendar ( YYYY – 1911 = ROC year), so 2021 -> 110
    5. Enter the captcha
  4. Click the left button at the bottom to confirm (the right button clears the form)
  5. Print out and/or screenshot your appointment page. This will make it easier to get directions to the appointment day-of.

If all that worked correctly, you should get a screen like this:

Annotated appointment confirmation screen.

I have copied the text into the table below so you can copy and paste into google translate to get any of the details.

姓 名YOUR NAME
 時 間110.5.6 星期四 下午
 應備文件請攜帶「健保卡」,如非健保身分,請持以下證件,本國:身分證(兒童請持戶口名簿);外籍:「外國護照」或「中華民國居留證」;大陸地區:「中華民國臺灣地區入出境許可證」及「大陸居民往來臺灣通行證」。
科 別家庭醫學部
診 別COVID-19疫苗專責門診 第19診 (代碼: 1XXX01 )
醫事 人員住院醫師 無
 診 號11
備 註自費疫苗接種
 
 看診地點總院區-東址-D棟1樓
 初診報到時間就診當日上午門診10:30前/下午門診15:00前需至各櫃檯辦理報到手續。
 參考就診時間13:30~14:30,但會因當日病人狀況而有所異動,尚祈諒解
 看診進度二維條碼下載

Notes:

  • In general, you can only use online registration (=book an appointment online) at NTUH if you have been there before, so you might have difficulty if you haven’t visited before. In that case, the best option may be to try online registration for a hospital you’ve visited before or go in person to NTUH to make an appointment.
  • Keep an eye out for text messages with more information. They will be in Chinese.

Day of your vaccination

Bring

  • NHI card
  • Passport (not required, but you may want to bring it just in case)
  • Printout of your appointment confirmation page (optional)
  • Mask (duh)
  • 600 NTD cash

What will happen?

  1. Plan on arriving between 9 and 10 am. 10am is the latest time you can check in (not like normal morning clinics)
  2. Go to the east building main entrance (not the old japanese-style building). For clarity, get directions to this starbucks (which is in the correct building.
  3. Right after the ID/temperature check, you should see a sign pointing to the right that says something about “Self paid COVID-19 vaccination.” The waiting area is just at the end of a hallway, it should be pretty easy to fine.
  4. Check in with the nurse with your NHI card. They will give you a form to fill out and a number.
  5. When your number is called, go get your shot.
  6. Pay at the end in the same little area where you get the shot. 600 NTD.
  7. When you pay, they will give you an appointment for your second shot, 8 weeks later.
  8. You’ll have to wait 30 minutes to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction, then they will come out with your vaccination card.
  9. Enjoy your day!

Other information

Unfortunately, the TW CDC doesn’t post all the information in english that it does in Chinese (at least not at the same time). Notably, the english announcement of the self-paid vaccines doesn’t include information about where to get them. The Chinese version of that page does.

If you have questions or tips for me, don’t hesitate to reach out!

One more note: I definitely think you should get the vaccine, but I’m not that kind of doctor, and absolutely nothing here should be taken as medical advice.

Join now! The Materials Modeling Stack Exchange forum is now in public beta

I’m thrilled to announce that the Materials Modeling Stack Exchange forum is now in public beta. This means that anyone can browse without having to sign up for sign up for an account and the questions might start showing up in google search results. We’re still actively recruiting more physics-oriented contributors, so I encourage you to check it out.

There are already hundreds of questions and answers on the forum, here’s a couple great discussions you might want to join in on:

Write your congressperson to support science during COVID-19

APS President Phil Bucksbaum recently wrote a letter with recommendations for how congress can protect science during COVID-19 and ensure a quick recovery afterwards. “The letter’s recommendations include: providing grantees full or partial cost extensions, ensuring the supplemental funding necessary to restart labs and experiments is provided, and substantially increasing REU funding for Summer 2021.”

APS is also organizing a letter-writing campaign to call Congress’s attention to this issue. They’re provided a easy-to-use tool where you can plug in your voting address, sign your letter (and add some of your own thoughts) and they will send it off to your congressperson and senators. It takes less than five minutes and it makes a huge difference. On narrow issues like this, you letter might be the only one your elected official receives!

Sign and send your letter now!

New Stack Exchange for Matter Modeling

Some of my colleagues have worked very hard to build up a Materials Matter Modeling Stack Exchange forum, currently in beta. They need more contributors to graduate to a full-fledged forum, so I encourage anyone reading this to join at materials.stackexchange.com (you will have to create an account to join the private beta, but it’s super easy). Much of the discussion is currently on computational chemistry methods like DFT, but the admins are actively seeking more physics content to differentiate themselves from existing Stack Exchange forums.

Continue reading

Rest in peace Phil Anderson, a giant on whose shoulders we stand

On Sunday March 29, Philip W. Anderson passed away.  Anderson is doubtlessly one of the greatest condensed matter physicists who ever lived.

Anderson made foundational discoveries in localization, high-temperature superconductivity and antiferromagnetism. Indeed, his achievements stretch beyond condensed matter; his work on spontaneous symmetry breaking contributed to development of the Standard Model of particle physics. I’m sure many more competent people will eulogize him (update 2020-05-04 they have), but I wanted share one specific personal connection I have to his work.

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Rep. James Himes

CVD success: Rep. Himes co-sponsors the Keep STEM Talent Act!

For the APS Congressional Visit Day last month, my team visited the DC office of Representative Jim Himes (D-CT-04) to advocate for a number of issues important to science (see previous post). One of our asks was for Rep. Himes to cosponsor the Keep STEM Talent Act. I just heard that Rep. Himes is now a cosponsor! Thanks so much to my CVD team, to Rep. Himes and to the staffer we met with, Jessica Hagens-Jordan!

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APS Congressional Visit Day 2020

APS Congressional Visit Day 2020

This week, I am in Washington DC for the APS Congressional Visit Day and Annual Leadership Meeting. We started on Wednesday with the Congressional Visit. APS broke us up into teams by region. I’m a Massachusetts voter, so I joined a team of people from Massachusetts and Connecticut. We had six meetings with the offices of Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal along with House Representatives James Himes and Rosa DeLauro.

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Outreach: The World in Your Classroom

Science is a powerful way of learning how our world works, but that knowledge is useless if ordinary people don’t trust scientists. This lack of trust is at the core of issues like climate change denial and the anti-vaccination movement. Scientific literacy is a huge and complex problem, but I think one cause of this mistrust is how few people know a scientist personally (in fact, one study found that only 4% of Americans could name a living scientist). People tend to trust people they know, so with that in mind I’ve decided to get more involved in science outreach.

I have now visited two local junior high school classrooms through The World in Your Classroom, a program that brings foreigners living in Taiwan into classrooms to meet with Taiwanese students and tell them about their home countries. I’ll describe one of those experiences now.

Photo of Adam presenting his slides in the middle school classroom.

For the first thirty minutes or so I showed the students some slides talking about where I grew up and how I ended up in Taiwan. In advance, their teacher had sent me a list of questions from the students. They certainly knew a lot more about America than I knew about any foreign country when I was their age, and they weren’t afraid to ask the hard questions. Examples were “Do you support the US maintaining good relations with China?”, “Who did you vote for in the last presidential election?” and “What is your opinion on racism and same-sex marriage?”. Many of their questions asked whether America was friendly to immigrants, to which I said yes. (I imagine news coverage of current events might have inspired those questions). I did not talk extensively about my research, but I did talk about what it’s like to be a scientist and why I like my job. I especially wanted to address the misconception that scientists are all supergeniuses, so I made sure to point out that I was a very poor student when I was their age and I struggled quite a lot in school. They responded really well to this message.

For my trouble I was given a few small gifts, including a box of the best pineapple cakes I’ve had so far (I really need to figure out where those came from). I’m looking forward to meeting more Taiwanese students in the future.

TWIYC website