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CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan starts giving 2nd dose of COVID vaccine for Omicron subvariant XBB

04/09/2024 10:26 PM
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Deputy Health Minister Chou Jih-haw. CNA photo April 9, 2024
Deputy Health Minister Chou Jih-haw. CNA photo April 9, 2024

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Tuesday began administering the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron subvariant XBB to vulnerable groups.

In a press conference, Deputy Health Minister Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) urged the vulnerable groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as the pandemic continues to be a threat.

Eligible recipients include seniors aged 65 and above, Indigenous people aged 55-64, as well as individuals aged 6 months and older with immunodeficiency or weakened immune systems, the CDC said.

Taiwan initiated the rollout of the XBB vaccine in September last year, with Moderna and Novavax being the current available brands.

The first and second doses of the XBB vaccine should be administered with an interval of at least 12 weeks (84 days), the CDC said, adding that they could come from different brands.

Statistics showed that individuals with weaker immune systems may experience a decline in vaccine efficacy three to five months after receiving the first COVID shot, Chou said, stressing the importance of getting a second shot.

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

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