CORONAVIRUS/Pfizer-BNT COVID-19 vaccine for young children set to arrive late August

Taiwan is set to take delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) COVID-19 vaccine for children aged between 6 months and 5 years old by the end of August, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.

The vaccine doses could help ensure children are better protected at school, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (???) said at a press briefing, adding that it will take three months for all three shots to be administered.

Taiwan granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BNT vaccine to be used for young children last month, as infants and young children still face the risk of severe illness and death amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.

The vaccine for the age group will be administered in three 0.2 milliliter doses, each containing 3 micrograms of mRNA, with a minimum interval of 21 days for the first two doses and a period of at least eight weeks before the third shot.

Taiwan began offering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 6-11 on May 2 and started the rollout of the Pfizer-BNT COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 on May 25.

Meanwhile, Chuang cautioned that with an increasing number of BA.5 variant infections across Taiwan, a surge in new COVID-19 cases is likely to occur in the near future, with the peak expected between late September and early October.

The CECC data showed that last week, BA.5 variant infections accounted for 5 percent of total domestic cases nationwide and 10 percent in northern Taiwan.

Chuang added that the COVID-19 pandemic has remained relatively stable over the past week, and Taiwan could see the situation continue or go up slightly in the coming week.

After that, he cautioned, there could be a mild upward trend for new cases for a few weeks before the BA.5 case surge hits.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel