MOHW confirms vaccine arrival

03 March, 2021

Courtesy of ICRT

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung has confirmed that a total of 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have arrived in Taiwan.

And Chen says they will be administered first to healthcare workers who have direct contact with coronavirus patients. [Last week, the CECC released a vaccine priority list of persons to receive the vaccine.]

According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, the vaccines arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on a Korean Air flight before being transported to a cold storage facility and are now being kept at temperatures of 2-8 degrees.

Reports had been claiming the shipment was from the COVAX allocation program.

But the health minister says the delivery was part of the 10-million doses Taiwan has ordered directly from AstraZeneca.

The Food and Drug Administration is now carrying out an inspection process for the vaccines.

Although that process could take between 30 and 40 days, the health minister says the process has been sped up internationally due to the pandemic, but it's unlikely that it can be shortened to as few as seven days, as had been claimed by FDA officials.

The health minister says as it is the first batch, drug safety officials will be "cautious in the inspection process" and he's refusing to say when the vaccines will be distributed.

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