A shipment of 796,000 doses of Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Taiwan yesterday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, as it reported 17,668 new local COVID-19 cases, 59 imported cases and 37 deaths from the disease.
The third shipment of the vaccine, which is adapted to the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of SARS-CoV-2, arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in the evening and has been transported to a designated refrigerated logistics center for lot release testing, the center said.
The expiration date of the vaccines is May 10, the center said, adding that 5,113,100 doses of Moderna’s Omicron-adapted bivalent vaccines have arrived so far — 2,999,900 doses of a BA.1-adapted vaccine and 2,113,200 doses of the BA.4/BA.5-adapted vaccine.
The number of new local cases reported yesterday was 1 percent lower than on Wednesday last week, the CECC said.
It was the second consecutive day with a week-on-week decline rate of below 5 percent.
A reporter at the center’s news briefing asked whether there was a backlog of cases due to people not getting tested ahead of Saturday’s local elections despite having symptoms so they could vote, inadvertently spreading the disease.
Chuang said the CECC had expected the decline rate to fall due to several factors, including caseloads nearing a baseline as the wave of infections subsides.
However, the CECC cannot rule out that people delayed getting tested so they could vote, Chuang said, adding that increased travel on election day might also have contributed to the trend.
However, the number of new cases is usually highest on Tuesday and Wednesday, he said, adding that the CECC would continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation.
Additional reporting by CNA
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