CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan grants EUA for updated Moderna COVID vaccine
Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for Moderna's Spikevax XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccine and is planning to roll out the new jab by the end of this month.
An expert panel approved the vaccine for recipients over the age of six months during a review meeting on Wednesday, FDA Deputy Director Chen Hui-fang (陳惠芳) said in a call with reporters.
Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧), deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), said the agency expects to take delivery of a batch of 2 million doses of the vaccine in the coming days.
After receiving the doses, health officials will take at least a week to inspect and label the shots before making them available to the public, likely in late September, she said.
Tseng previously said the updated Moderna shots -- the first of 6 million doses Taiwan will receive this year -- will first be offered to people aged 65 and above.
In a press release announcing the authorization, the FDA said the approved vaccine is based on similar technology to Moderna's previous shots, and offers strong protection against the Omicron XBB sublineage which is currently the dominant strain in Taiwan.
In terms of safety, adverse reactions to the vaccine are generally mild to moderate in severity, and similar to those of Moderna's previous COVID-19 shots, the statement said.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have remained low in Taiwan in recent weeks, with only 44 severe infections and 6 deaths from the disease reported from Sept. 5-11, according to CDC data.
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