The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) yesterday agreed to a mix-and-match approach for COVID-19 vaccines, and approved the inclusion of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp’s (高端疫苗) COVID-19 vaccine in the national vaccination program.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said it was agreed at an ACIP meeting yesterday morning that a mix-and-match approach was acceptable for people receiving two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Most people in the first three COVID-19 vaccination priority groups have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Chen said.
Photo: Huang Shu-li, Taipei Times
Specialists in the committee said people in those groups should be allowed to receive a mRNA vaccine for their second dose, at least eight weeks after their first dose, he said.
However, to keep the vaccination policy consistent, the center would arrange for the second dose of the mix-and-match regimen to be administered 10 to 12 weeks after the first dose, he said.
Asked when the mix-and-match vaccination strategy would be implemented, Chen said that a date has not yet been set, as the ACIP’s decision was only reached at noon yesterday.
The CECC must still discuss plans for the strategy’s implementation, as well as modify the online vaccination booking system to allow for the mixing of doses, Chen said.
The ACIP also approved the domestic Medigen vaccine for inclusion in the national vaccination program, he said.
Regarding rollout of the Medigen vaccine, Chen said the CECC would need to meet with the vaccine maker to confirm its supply plan and schedule.
Medigen obtained Emergency Use Authorization for its vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration on Monday last week, the first local vaccine maker to do so.
The administration based its decision on data Medigen obtained in a phase 2 clinical trial involving about 4,000 participants earlier this year, which was analyzed using immunobridging and compared to a control group of 200 AstraZeneca vaccine recipients in Taoyuan.
Medigen has said it has permission to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial among 1,000 people in Paraguay.
Additional reporting by CNA
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