CORONAVIRUS/Appointments open in Taiwan for 2nd Moderna shots
Taipei, July 28 (CNA) People in Taiwan can now book an online appointment for their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, as the government resumed online appointments Tuesday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Wednesday.
The online system was reopened 2 p.m. Tuesday to people 18 years old and over, after new registration for COVID-19 jabs was temporarily halted on July 19, the CECC said.
In the latest round of registrations, people who have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine can schedule an appointment for their second shot of the same brand, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC.
Due to a tight supply of the Moderna vaccine, however, only people in the CECC's top three priority groups are currently eligible to receive a second shot of that brand 28 days after the first one, he said.
The priority groups include medical personnel, flight crews, employees in other COVID-19 high-risk jobs, and pregnant women, according to the CECC.
Meanwhile, people in other categories who had received a first shot of the Moderna or AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccines 10-12 weeks ago can also now make appointments for their second jab of the same brand, Chen said, adding that the mixing of COVID-19 vaccine brands is not permitted in Taiwan.
Also in this round of bookings, the vaccine developed by Taiwan's Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. has been included as an option for people aged 20 and over, he said.
In the 23 hours since the new round of online bookings opened, some 1,123,970 people had registered, Chen said, citing data valid as of 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Since the online system was launched in early July, some 8.279 million people have registered but have not received vaccines, according to data provided by the CECC.
Of that number, 4.98 percent indicated they wanted only the AstraZeneca vaccine, 39 percent selected only Moderna vaccine, and 1.01 percent chose only Medigen, the data showed.
The majority -- 50.02 percent -- indicated that they would take either the AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines, while 0.18 percent selected both AZ and Medigen as their preferences, 0.75 percent chose Moderna and Medigen, and 4.06 percent opted for any of the three available vaccines, the CECC data showed.
To date, Taiwan has received around 9.485 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, including 3.65 million doses of Moderna -- 1.15 million ordered from the manufacturer and 2.5 million donated by the United States -- and 5.85 million doses of AstraZeneca, nearly 3.34 million of which were donated by Japan and the rest purchased from the manufacturer or through COVAX.
Around 7.0 million people in Taiwan have received their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, which translates into 29.92 percent of the population, while 288,000, or 1.23 percent, have been fully vaccinated, according to the CECC.
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