The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices yesterday approved the use of Moderna’s second-generation COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for people at high risk of infection or severe disease.
Committee convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) made the announcement about the vaccine, which targets the original virus from 2020 and the Omicron BA.1 subvariant, in a call with journalists following a meeting with experts held by the committee yesterday afternoon.
The committee agreed to recommend the vaccine for use as a booster for two types of vulnerable groups: people aged 65 and older and those aged 18 and older with compromised immune systems, he said.
The vaccine was also recommended for use among people at high risk of COVID-19 infection, such as frontline medical workers and airport and port employees, said Lee, adding that the vaccine should be administered at least three months after any previous COVID-19 shot.
A shipment of 2 million doses of the second-generation vaccine is expected to arrive in Taiwan sometime this month, he said.
As of Monday last week, 92.7 percent of the eligible population in Taiwan had received one COVID-19 shot, while 86.7 percent had received a second, and 72.2 percent had received a booster, the Central Epidemic Command Center said.
Taiwan yesterday reported 23,931 new local cases of COVID-19 and 31 deaths from the virus, the center said.
The deceased ranged in age from their 40s to their 90s. All but two had chronic illnesses or other severe diseases, and 17 were unvaccinated against COVID-19, it said.
Yesterday, New Taipei City reported the highest number of new cases at 5,329, followed by Taipei with 3,016 and Taoyuan with 2,884.
Taichung had 2,528 new cases, Kaohsiung 1,862, Tainan 1,400, Changhua 994, Hsinchu County 856, Hsinchu City 619, Pingtung 611 and Miaoli 610.
Yunlin County reported 494 cases, Yilan County 493, Hualien County 460, Keelung 433, Nantou County 327, Chiayi County 323, Chiayi City 218, Taitung 204, Penghu County 124, Kinmen County 122 and the Matsu Islands 24, the center said.
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