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CORONAVIRUS/Updated Moderna COVID-19 vaccine now available to general public: CDC

10/11/2023 03:45 PM
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A medical worker making preparations before a syringe injection is seen in this undated photo. CNA file photo
A medical worker making preparations before a syringe injection is seen in this undated photo. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) People of all ages in Taiwan can now receive government-funded shots of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Wednesday.

The vaccine, which was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) on Sept. 13, was initially offered to people aged 65 and older starting Sept. 26, and then to medical personnel from Oct. 2, the CDC said.

At a press conference Wednesday, CDC Deputy Director-General Tseng Shu-huai (曾淑慧) urged the public to get the shots, as COVID-19 cases are expected to begin rising this month before reaching a peak in late December.

Taiwan's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that people aged 5 and above get one shot of the XBB vaccine, with a gap of at least three months from their previous COVID-19 vaccine.

For children aged 6 months to 4 years, the ACIP has recommended two shots of the XBB vaccine taken at a four-week interval if they have not yet been vaccinated, or 1-2 shots taken at varying intervals if they have already received at least one shot of another COVID-19 vaccine.

Over the past week (Oct. 3-9), COVID-19 cases in Taiwan remained relatively low, with an average of 39 moderate-to-severe infections and five deaths from the disease being reported each day, according to CDC data.

Of the 66 local COVID-19 infections on which CDC officials conducted genomic sequencing during that period, 61 were of the XBB variant, the data showed.

(By Tseng Yi-ning and Matthew Mazzetta)

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