Medigen jabs available in next round
Courtesy of ICRT
People will soon be able to get the locally-produced coronavirus vaccine.
Health minister Chen Shih-chung says the Medigen jab will be available in the next round of vaccinations, and people should start getting them before the end of this month.
The Medigen vaccine was granted emergency use authorization in July, and some 350,000 doses have since been inspected and sealed by authorities.
People can already indicate their willingness to get the Medigen version on the government's vaccination registration platform.
With AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Medigen versions now available, Chen says they currently have no plans to add other companies' shots to the options.
Chen also says that the CECC is moving forward with plans to allow mixing of vaccines.
Chen says they are looking to allow front-line medical workers who treat Covid-19 patients to get an mRNA vaccine after their first AstraZeneca shot.
In related news, the latest shipment of 99,600 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine has arrived in Taiwan.
The doses were purchased by the government directly from the US pharmaceutical company.
The shipment arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on a China Airlines cargo flight from Luxembourg on Sunday.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says the vaccine doses have now been transported to a designated cold storage logistics centre for follow-up inspections and sealing operations.
The delivery comes as some officials have been warning that Taiwan is running short of vaccines to meet demand, with more than 12.1 million people registered on a centralized online platform to get a shot as of Saturday.
The CECC has not released a breakdown of the numbers, but it's believed that a majority of the 12.1 million are still waiting to get their first shot because registration for a second shot has so far been opened to only a limited number of people.
According to health authorities, just under 37% of Taiwan's 23.5 million population has received a first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, but only 2.1% have so far been fully vaccinated with two shots.
Last week it was reported that Covid-19 vaccines are running out fast. Deputy Health Minister Xue Rui-yuan has admitted that supply seems to be running low, saying that vaccine initiative COVAX had promised to send a batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine here in June, but it has yet to happen.
Local news reports that after the latest round of vaccinations are over on 17 August for half a million eligible people, the vaccine stockpile will shrink to below 500,000.
Meanwhile Singapore has announced that starting Sunday, travellers who have stayed in Taiwan for three weeks before their flight won't need to undergo quarantine as long as their PCR test upon arrival is negative.
In the United States, White House has confirmed that it is mulling over whether to impose vaccination requirements on travellers entering the US.
If it decides to do so, it'll affect Taiwan's businesspeople and students who are yet to be vaccinated.