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CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan to roll out updated Moderna COVID vaccine by late September: CDC

09/19/2023 06:32 PM
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Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine engineered to combat against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5. Photo courtesy of Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) Taiwan plans to roll out Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 before the Sept. 29- Oct. 1 Mid-Autumn Festival holiday weekend, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on Tuesday.

The vaccine, which the government granted emergency use authorization (EUA) on Sept. 13, will first be offered to people aged 65 and above, said CDC Deputy Director Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧) at a regular COVID-19 briefing.

According to Tseng, the agency expects to receive 6 million updated Moderna shots by the end of this year, with the first batch of 700,000 doses scheduled to be delivered in the coming days.

The government said earlier that the updated 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, it said.

COVID-19 cases and deaths have remained low in Taiwan in recent weeks, with an average of 40 local infections and 6 deaths from the disease reported per day between Sept. 12-18, according to CDC data.

(By Tseng Yi-ning and Lee Hsin-Yin)


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