Taiwan has ordered about 2 million doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine through the global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday.
However, it is not clear when the first shipment would arrive and how many doses it would contain, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing technical data on the Novavax vaccine as part of its emergency use authorization process, he added.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that the vaccine be given to people aged 18 or older as first, second or booster shots, Chen said.
The interval between the first and second doses should be 28 days, and a booster shot should follow 12 weeks after a second dose, he said.
Asked whether there is interest in the vaccine in Taiwan, Chen said that subunit vaccines like Novavax are suitable for people who are allergic to other types of COVID-19 vaccines offered in Taiwan, or those who are put off by the potentially more severe side effects of other vaccines.
Photo courtesy of the CECC
While the locally developed Medigen vaccine is also a subunit vaccine, it has not yet been approved by the WHO, which could lead people to choose the Novavax vaccine instead, he said.
Taiwan has ordered 4.76 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from COVAX, of which 1.02 million doses, all of the AstraZeneca brand, have been delivered, the CECC said.
Meanwhile, the ACIP said that a meeting with experts recommended against giving COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5 to 11, and advised against administering booster shots to those aged 12 to 17.
In other developments, Taiwan reported 15 domestic COVID-19 cases, including 13 from a new cluster at a chemical plant in Kaohsiung.
An employee at the plant began to show symptoms on Wednesday, and her test results came back positive yesterday, Chen said.
Subsequent testing found that 10 other employees had also contracted COVID-19, as well as two of their family members, one of whom is a high-school student, he said.
The student’s classmates and homeroom teacher have tested negative and have been asked to quarantine, Chen said.
The 45 employees at the chemical plant who tested negative are also in quarantine, and the plant is to suspend operations, he said.
The CECC has not yet identified the source of the cluster, he said.
The other two domestic cases tested positive in quarantine, and their infections are related to a cluster of unknown origin centered on a wedding in Chiayi City, Chen said.
Each of the local cases reported yesterday had received either two or three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the CECC said.
Taiwan yesterday also reported 124 imported cases of COVID-19, the highest daily total recorded since the pandemic began, Chen said.
The previous record was on Saturday last week, when 120 imported cases were reported.
SOLIDARITY: A group of European lawmakers condemned China’s aggressive moves, while the foreign minister of Lithuania said Taiwan ‘cannot become a second Ukraine’ A German parliamentary delegation would visit Taiwan in the first week of October, German lawmaker Holger Becker on Monday told visiting Democratic Progressive Party legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Lin I-chin (林宜瑾) at the Bundestag in Berlin. Asked by Fan whether he is worried about possible reprisals from Beijing, such as banning him and his family from entering China, Becker said he is more interested in visiting Taiwan, as “now is the time for democracies to stand together.” Fan and Lin also met with German officials to exchange views on digital education and governance. Investing in digital infrastructure and protecting equal rights to
As China waged extensive military exercises off Taiwan, a group of US defense experts in Washington was focused on their own simulation of an eventual — but for now entirely hypothetical — US-China war over the nation. The unofficial what-if game is being conducted on the fifth floor of an office building not far from the White House, and it posits a US military response to a Chinese invasion in 2026. Even though the participants bring a US perspective, they are finding that a US-Taiwan victory, if there is one, could come at a huge cost. “The results are showing that under
DRILLS CONTINUE: China’s creation of a restricted zone across the median line of the Taiwan Strait challenges a 70-year-old fact, a ministry of defense official said The nation’s military fully complies with international rules and guidelines when responding to Chinese military drills, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday, vowing to continue defending Taiwan in accordance with international law. China on Thursday launched four days of military drills around Taiwan proper in response to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. The drills were expected to end on Sunday, but neither Beijing nor Taipei confirmed their conclusion, although the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it had seen some evidence suggesting at least a partial drawdown. However, China yesterday said the drills would continue, saying “the
A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night post in which she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing’s claim over Taiwan. “Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) posted on Twitter late on Sunday. “Palates don’t cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home,” she added. Hua’s post came at the end of a week of tensions around the Taiwan Strait, during which Beijing raged at a