Taiwan yesterday received three shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, a total of 1.88 million doses.
The nation has so far received 8.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.
First to arrive was a donation from Japan. A Japan Airlines Co flight arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 1:45pm with 970,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on board.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), and center officials Wang Pi-sheng (王必勝) and Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) greeted the flight holding signs thanking the Japanese government for its latest donation.
Japan has donated a total of 3.34 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan. The first batch of 1.24 million doses was delivered on June 4, while a second batch of 1.13 million doses arrived on Thursday last week.
Japan’s three donations would cover about 15 percent of Taiwan’s population, and are a tremendous help in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, Chen said at the airport.
“We are very grateful,” he said, before thanking the Japanese government and people once again for their friendship toward Taiwan.
A second shipment arrived at the airport at about 3:15pm.
The China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) flight, which flew in from Thailand, delivered 560,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine — ones purchased by the government.
Taiwan signed a contract with AstraZeneca PLC for 10 million doses on Oct. 30 last year — this was the third delivery, the center said.
The first delivery of 117,000 doses arrived on March 3, while the second delivery of 626,000 doses arrived on Wednesday last week.
Yesterday’s final shipment of vaccines arrived at the airport at about 4pm. The China Airlines flight, which flew in from Luxembourg, arrived with 350,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
Taiwan signed a contract with Moderna Inc for 5.05 million doses, the center said.
With yesterday’s shipment — the fourth delivery — the nation has so far received 1.15 million of the doses, it said.
The first delivery of 150,000 doses arrived on May 28, followed by 240,000 doses on June 18 and 410,000 doses on June 30.
As of 5pm yesterday, 7.58 million people had registered online to get vaccinated against COVID-19: 2.5 percent chose the AstraZeneca vaccine, 55.19 percent chose Moderna and 42.31 percent said they would accept either vaccine, the center said.
As of Wednesday, 4,337,272 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered — 4,242,075 first doses and 95,197 second doses, CECC data showed.
Additional reporting by CNA
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