COVID vaccines from America: Do Americans get priority?

For the COVID vaccine donations from America, will AIT issue the first wave to US citizens?

No. It says in their website that they will not offer vaccines to private citizens abroad.



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Check out this helpful recent article from former AIT director William Stanton. It corroborates what @starla.986 and @OrangeOrganics are saying.


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That’s an interesting article, I hadn’t seen it before. I’m a little surprised by this:
"Given the paucity of vaccines currently available in Taiwan, several tax-paying U.S. citizens, for example, have asked me, as a former AIT Director, if AIT would provide vaccines for U.S. citizens living in Taiwan. The answer I conveyed to them was a definite “No.”

This is unfortunate because there is still a dearth of vaccines in Taiwan even for Taiwanese, and travel back to the States poses the risk of acquiring the virus on the journey. Many people, moreover, cannot afford the time off from work and the expense of the journey itself, especially with the two-dose vaccines that require a substantial interval."

Not that I disagree, in fact I think that AIT should help vaccinate the 100,000 Americans living here since we have to pay taxes in the US, but I am surprised that he would say that when they have been clear that they won’t vaccinate private citizens abroad.

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As an American tax payer who pays lots of taxes, I’d expect them to fly over a shipment to get us citizens vaccinated. But no, and to add insult to injury, a negative covid test result is required to go back to the US. So if a US citizen tests positive, they’re not allowed back to the states to seek medical help, even on a private jet.


To be fair, I wouldn’t want to be treated in the US if I had a severe case of Covid. Do you know how much it would cost someone who lives abroad and doesn’t have US-based insurance? I shudder to think about it. But, I do agree with your premise, we vote and have to file taxes, they should share some of the excess vaccines with us.


Something like Cigna global would cover Covid treatment in the US and isn’t crazy expensive. I think medical treatment in Taiwan are generally fine but I’ve heard horror stories too, and I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who doesn’t read/speak Chinese since they wouldn’t understand the health waivers. If a US citizen is stuck somewhere unfortunate like parts of Africa or India, then they should probably fly back to the US for any serious health issues.

As a tax payer, it’s depressing to hear we get no consideration.

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I hate this entitled attitude.

When you decide to become an expat, you sign up to live in a different country under whatever conditions exist in that country. Just because you pay taxes (although not everyone actually does because of FEIE and tax credits) doesn’t mean that the US is required to provide concierge service to get you vaccinated, treated, etc.

It’s no different than if you choose to live in a dangerous place. The US is not going to send in the Navy SEALS to rescue you. The State Department has a whole page on its website talking about what the US generally can and can’t do in emergency situations.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the US told all citizens they should return home unless they were prepared to stay overseas indefinitely. They also advised citizens not to travel. If you decided to go against these guidelines, it was clear you were on your own.

Want a vaccine but can’t get one in Taiwan? Do what I did. Take action to get on a plane and go back. Yeah there’s some risk but that’s what you signed up for. There are still commercial flights available.

As for the negative COVID test requirement, hello. This is a commonsense safeguard to help protect Americans. If you’re deathly ill, you can arrange for medical evacuation and the CDC will issue a waiver under these circumstances.


I see the situation the same. I chose to live here so I don’t expect any special arrangements for vaccinations.



If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien, the rules for filing income, estate, and gift tax returns and paying estimated tax are generally the same whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

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Using FEIE or tax credits, a lot of expats pay net 0 taxes to the US. If you have a foreign employer, you’re even exempt from FICA.

But anyway, I don’t know where American expats get the idea that just because they pay tax in the US, the US is supposed to air lift vaccines to them. If you’re retired and move overseas, is the US supposed to set up hospitals so you can use Medicare?

Commercial flights are still available to the US from Taiwan. Any American who wants free vaccine can hop on a plane and get it. Those who are too lazy or expect SEAL Team 6 to do a special op to get them vaccinated can pound sand.


Are there any stats on what u.s. citizens abroad (generally, and specifically in Taiwan) pay? With the exclusions, and some of the numbers thrown around on here, seems like it might be a very low number.

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Unearned income is taxable just as if you’re living on U.S. soil:

  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Pension income
  • Distributions from retirement accounts or trusts
  • Rental income
  • Gambling winnings
  • Capital gains
  • Annuity payments
  • Alimony
  • Royalties
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Taxable Social Security benefits
  • Cancellation of debt

I’m fine if the government wants to wash its hands of me when I’m not living on U.S. soil. I should be able to wash my hands of it too though when I’m living half way around the world and being told I’m on my own.


47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. And those living in the US don’t have FEIE and tax credits available to them. Paying FICA is a different thing, but most people don’t realize that.

If you’re living in TW earning under $107,600 US/year, the only reason you’re paying income tax in the US is because you don’t know about FEIE or you have an incompetent accountant. If you work for a TW employer, you should also not be paying FICA.

Anyway, Americans who choose to live overseas expecting the US to airlift vaccine to them wherever they are is emblematic of the entitlement culture of the US.

You can. Renounce your citizenship and move on. Whining about the shitty reality of worldwide taxation isn’t going to change anything.

The US is very clear about what it will and won’t do for citizens when they’re abroad (whether they’re living abroad or traveling abroad temporarily). Every citizen who travels has an obligation to be informed of their rights and responsibilities.

Anybody who was in TW back in 2020 when the US advised all citizens to come home or be prepared to take care of themselves overseas had a choice to make. Those who decided to stay have no right to complain that they’re not getting concierge vaccination service. They can get on a commercial flight if they want a vaccine in the US.

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I flew to the U.S. in late March and got my Pfizer vaccinations and am heading back to Taiwan next month so I’m not asking for special treatment. Just fairness.

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I just flew to the US last week to do the same and I don’t see what’s unfair about the arrangement.

Do you know of any country that is airlifting vaccine to its citizens abroad?

There are US expats in almost every country on earth. It’s unrealistic to expect the US to provision, deliver and administer vaccines for them wherever they are. Furthermore, the US government is very clear about the services it can provide to Americans overseas. Taking care of their healthcare is not one of them.

Deciding to go abroad comes with responsibilities. It’s not fair for people to expect they can enjoy the freedom to travel and live abroad but then not have to deal with the responsibilities the minute they find themselves in a situation they don’t like.

Thanks for reminding me why having discussions on Forumosa is a complete waste of time.