CORONAVIRUS/Local governments to get updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Nov. 18

The government will start distributing new Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine doses which are efficacious against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants on Nov. 18, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.

Taiwan was originally scheduled to take delivery of its first batch of the second-generation Moderna vaccine, containing 703,000 doses, on Wednesday evening at Taoyuan International Airport, but the plan was pushed back to Thursday morning after the flight was delayed, CECC head Victor Wang (王必勝) said.

The vaccine doses will be dispatched to local governments from Nov. 18 after they have been inspected and packaged, Wang said.

A second batch of the updated Moderna vaccine is scheduled to arrive next week, he said.

With BA.5 still being the dominant strain in Taiwan, people who are eligible to receive a shot of the updated Moderna vaccine are encouraged to do so, he said.

The new vaccine, which targets the original COVID-19 strain and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, will be offered as a booster shot for people aged 12 and above, according to the CECC.

Taiwan’s government signed a contract with Moderna in July last year to purchase 35 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines over the course of two years, which includes a guarantee to deliver 20 million doses by the end of this year, the CECC said.

However, including the shipment expected on Thursday, the country will have received only about 13.33 million Moderna doses, it said.



Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel