By Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter
Adults aged 75 and older who received a first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine before July 9 are eligible to receive a second dose starting today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
The CECC would begin distributing the vaccines today, after which local health departments would arrange for eligible recipients to receive their second dose at a designated vaccination site, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news conference in Taipei.
About 291,000 people are included in the group, the CECC said.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The latest measure came as the nation is expected to receive a new batch of the long-awaited Moderna vaccine doses tonight.
Chen confirmed that 1.08 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, as well as about 640,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, would arrive in Taiwan today.
The Moderna doses were to depart from Atlanta, Georgia, early this morning, and arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport tonight, the CECC said.
Taiwan has ordered 5.05 million doses of Moderna. Today’s batch, the seventh shipment delivered under the government’s contract, brings the total to 2.58 million.
The US and Czech governments have also donated 2.5 million and 30,000 Moderna doses respectively.
The Moderna doses arriving today would mainly be used to provide people with their second shot, Chen said.
The AstraZeneca doses were expected to arrive in the afternoon, he said.
The batch would be the ninth delivery made as part of a contract signed last year for 10 million doses, of which about 4.37 million — including today’s shipment — have been delivered, the CECC said.
Other AstraZeneca doses have come from the COVAX global vaccine distribution program or through donations from Japan, Lithuania and Poland.
Today’s AstraZeneca shipment is to expire on Jan. 31 next year, while the Moderna doses would likely expire in the middle of November, Chen said.
On Wednesday, 201,189 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered, of which 39,511 were first doses and 161,678 were second doses, CECC data showed.
As of Wednesday, 12,708,428 COVID-19 vaccine doses — 11,483,332 first doses and 1,225,096 second doses — had been given since vaccinations began on March 22, the data showed.
Chen said that 48.97 percent of the population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Additional reporting by CNA
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