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CORONAVIRUS/Updated Novavax COVID vaccine to arrive in Taiwan in December: CDC

11/08/2023 07:54 PM
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National Taiwan University Hospital Department of Medicine Education chief Sheng Wang-huei speaks about a study that shows 84 percent of people receiving three doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have lower risks to develop "long COVID" at a CDC news conference in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo Nov. 8, 2023
National Taiwan University Hospital Department of Medicine Education chief Sheng Wang-huei speaks about a study that shows 84 percent of people receiving three doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have lower risks to develop "long COVID" at a CDC news conference in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo Nov. 8, 2023

Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 will likely arrive in Taiwan in December, putting it on track to be the second vaccine offered against more recent strains of the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, CDC spokesperson Tseng Shu-hui (曾淑慧) said the Food and Drug Administration received documents in late October to begin its review of the vaccine for emergency use authorization (EUA).

If the review goes smoothly, the vaccine doses could begin arriving in Taiwan sometime in December, Tseng said.

Novavax is a subunit protein vaccine, which may make it a good option for people who experienced adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines like Moderna in the past, Tseng said.

Taiwan has already rolled out Moderna's XBB-adapted COVID-19 vaccine, which it began offering to people aged 65 and above on Sept. 26, to medical personnel on Oct. 2, and to the general pubic on Oct. 11.

On Tuesday, the CDC reported that 459,000 doses of the updated vaccine have been administered, while Taiwan's overall COVID-19 cases have remained low in recent weeks.

The CDC has particularly recommended vaccination to older adults, noting that 78 percent of COVID-19 cases with severe complications involved people aged 65 and above.

(By Tseng Yi-ning, Shen Pei-yao and Matthew Mazzetta)

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