Taiwan’s first-dose COVID-19 vaccination coverage had reached 77.34 percent as of Wednesday, while 50.5 percent of residents had received two doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday.
The share of the population who are fully vaccinated is expected to reach 60 percent in the middle of next month, said Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the CECC’s spokesman.
About 164,000 people have received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as their second dose under a newly introduced mix-and-match vaccination program, he said.
Photo: Ritchie B. Tongo, EPA-EFE
Among them, 49,916 received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 114,838 received the Moderna vaccine, he added.
On Saturday, Taiwan began offering the two brands to those who had received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at least eight weeks earlier.
Previously, only frontline medical workers could opt for Moderna as a second dose after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, as supply with the US-made jab was limited during the first month of Taiwan’s vaccination program, which started on March 22.
The CECC would on Sunday discuss with experts whether second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should be given to people aged 12 to 17, Chuang said.
Due to concerns over myocarditis and pericarditis reported among young people who had received the vaccine, the CECC does not allow its administration to the age group, even though those aged 18 or older can opt for the jab four weeks after their first dose.
Myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported worldwide in recipients of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines, such as the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech jabs, the latter of which is the only COVID-19 jab that has been given as a first dose to minors.
Meanwhile, Taiwan took delivery of a shipment of 938,300 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine yesterday morning, the CECC said, adding that they would expire on March 23 next year.
The 13th batch of the vaccine Taiwan received is part of 15 million doses ordered and donated to the government by the Hon Hai Precision Co-affiliated Yonglin Foundation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation.
Chuang said that Taiwan had so far received about 10.47 million of those doses.
Taiwan yesterday reported 10 new imported cases of COVID-19, three Taiwanese men and seven foreigners from Indonesia and the Philippines, the CECC said.
Five of them were listed as breakthrough infections, it added.
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