CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan receives new shipment of Moderna vaccine against Omicron BA.5

12/01/2022 10:43 AM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 1 (CNA) Taiwan received a new shipment of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine against the original strain of the virus and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants Wednesday night, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The plane carrying the 796,000 doses of the new version of the Moderna vaccine arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around 11 p.m. that day.

The shipment is the third delivered to Taiwan, after the new version of the Moderna vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on Oct. 26.

With the doses delivered on Wednesday, Taiwan has received a total of 5.11 million doses of Moderna's updated COVID-19 vaccines that target the various Omicron subvariants, according to the CECC.

They include nearly 3 million doses of a version against the Omicron BA.1 subvariant and 2.11 million dose of the latest version against the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, the CECC said.

Taiwan began to rollout the Moderna vaccine against BA.1 on Sept. 24, and the one against BA.4 and BA.5 on Nov. 18. Taiwan currently has 970,000 doses of the BA.1 version and 1.9 million doses of the BA.4/BA.5 version, the CECC said.

The CECC said it plans to begin distributing the second shipment of 613,000 doses of the BA.4/BA.5 version of the Moderna vaccine, which is only used as a booster dose, to local governments on Friday.

These doses will be given to children aged 6-17 at school, according to the CECC, which announced on Monday the use of the BA.4/BA.5 version of the Moderna vaccine as a booster dose for children aged 6-11.

Five-year-olds who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can be given a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11 as a booster shot, the CECC said in its Monday's announcement.

This is the first time Taiwan is offering children aged 5-11 a first booster shot, after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices under the Ministry of Health and Welfare recommended it on Oct. 27, according to the CECC.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Kay Liu)

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