CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to start giving second AstraZeneca COVID-19 jabs soon

06/19/2021 05:18 PM
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Taipei, June 19 (CNA) People who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine before May 9 can now make appointments for their second shot, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday.

At a press briefing, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the second dose is important, because it will help boost immunity, thus giving better protection against COVID-19.

The second AZ vaccine shots will be administered from June 23, offering the opportunity for full vaccination of the roughly 67,000 people who got their first jab between April 12 and May 9, Chen said.

As of Friday, some 27,000 people in Taiwan had received their two doses of the AZ vaccine, he said.

The World Health Organization recommends that the second AZ dose be given eight to 12 weeks after the first, for optimum efficacy.

Meanwhile, Chen said Saturday he could not confirm news reports that a third batch of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was scheduled to be delivered to Taiwan on Sunday.

On Friday, Taiwan took delivery of its second Moderna shipment, which comprised 240,000 doses, almost one month after it received its first batch of 150,000 doses on May 28.

The shipments were part of an order of 5.05 million doses to be supplied to Taiwan by the American pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc., under a contract that was signed on Feb. 8.

According to local news reports, another 410,000 doses of Moderna, along with 750,000 vaccines being donated by the United States, are scheduled to be delivered to Taiwan on Sunday.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Chiang Huei-chun and Ko Lin)

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