CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan buys additional 5 million AZ doses, details booster shot rules

Taiwan signed a contract with AstraZeneca in November to purchase 5 million doses of the company's COVID-19 vaccine for the rollout of booster shots, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (???) said Thursday.

The doses will be delivered in the coming year, and Taiwan will have the option of choosing between AstraZeneca's first and second-generation vaccines, Chen added.

Taiwan signed a contract with Moderna in July to purchase 35 million doses of the company's next generation vaccine, 20 million of which are scheduled to be delivered in 2022.

Taiwan is also holding talks with BioNTech about purchasing its second-generation vaccine, Chen said Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Chen announced that Taiwan would begin its rollout of COVID-19 booster shots at noon for certain categories of people who received their second shot at least five months ago.

Those eligible include medical workers, epidemic prevention workers in central and local government, people at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure, and individuals who need to travel abroad for official reasons.

Chen added that central government officials will be excluded for the time being unless such individuals have to frequent hospitals or government quarantine centers.

As of Thursday, 48,000 people are eligible to receive a booster shot, Chen said, adding that only the Moderna vaccine will be offered at this stage of the rollout.

The Moderna booster shot will be half of the dose administered for a primary dose, in keeping with the company's suggestions, Chen said.

Those eligible for a booster shot do not have to go through the government's 1922 vaccine platform and can make appointments directly with hospitals offering the vaccine, Chen added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel