Vaccine mixing approved

26 July, 2021

Courtesy of ICRT

Taiwan's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved the inclusion of a locally developed Covid-19 vaccine in the country's rollout.

The committee also said those who receive the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine can get a mRNA vaccine for their second dose.

The ACIP approval means that people in Taiwan will be able to receive the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation, which received emergency use authorization from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration on July 19.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung said most experts in the ACIP think the Medigen vaccine should be given first to people who are allergic to ingredients in the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccine.

Chen said the CECC will need to discuss with Medigen its supply plan, but declined to provide a timeline as to when the vaccine would become available.

In addition, the ACIP recommends that vaccine-mixing be allowed first for people in the top three categories of the vaccine priority list.

Vaccine mixing will not immediately be an option available to the public.

In related news on Friday Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said that over six million Taiwanese people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, pushing the vaccination coverage to 24.9%.

The health minister said that the vaccination rate of the people aged between 65 and 74 has reached 74%, much better than the influenza vaccination rate.

Chen says some 67% of those aged 75 and beyond have received at least one vaccine as well, also a very good record.

He says now the efforts will focus on getting the younger generations to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Some experts have questioned the minister's announcement that 36 million doses of the Moderna vaccine will arrive in 2022 and 2023, saying that of the five million doses that Taiwan ordered in early February, only a little over one million have arrived.

In response, Chen says according to Moderna's news release, it will ship 20 million of the vaccine to Taiwan next year, and then 15 million in 2023.

He says that should be enough for everyone who's willing to get a Covid-19 vaccine shot.

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