The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is to be administered starting tomorrow, after the government yesterday completed its inspection of a May 28 shipment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said.
The inspection of the 150,000 doses, the only batch of the Moderna vaccine that Taiwan has received, was completed earlier than expected after a faster method was adopted, FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said.
Distribution of the Moderna vaccines begins today and healthcare workers can start receiving the shots tomorrow, she said.
The Moderna doses are being reserved for about 70,000 unvaccinated medical workers at hospitals where COVID-19 patients are being treated, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Sunday.
The 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that were donated last week by Japan are to be reserved for medical personnel, disease prevention workers and employees in other high-risk jobs, Chen said.
Leftover does are to be used to vaccinate those aged 75 and older, as well as those in long-term care facilities, dialysis patients and essential workers in key industries, he added.
The 3,000 proctors for the national college entrance exam next month would also be offered the AstraZeneca vaccines, while some of the vaccines would be reserved for people who need to receive their second dose, Chen said.
The FDA should complete its inspection of the AstraZeneca vaccines from Japan on Friday and the rollout of those doses would begin on Tuesday next week, Chen added.
Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase nearly 20 million vaccines from overseas, including 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 4.76 million doses through the COVAX global distribution program.
The government has also signed contracts to buy 10 million doses of two locally made vaccines.
The nation has so far received 150,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and more than 1.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine — these include 1.24 million doses donated by Japan, as well as 726,600 doses through COVAX and purchased from the manufacturer.
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