Medigen vaccine appointments open
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says over 300,000 people have made appointments to get the locally produced Medigen coronavirus vaccine next week.
According to the health minister, some 614,000 doses of the Medigen vaccine will be administered nationwide, starting next Monday, 23 August.
Those eligible to register in the sixth round are people aged 36 and over or those aged between 20 and 25 who suffer from rare or serious illnesses or injuries who previously indicated their willingness to get the Medigen vaccine.
Bookings for the current round of appointments will close at noon tomorrow.
The Presidential Office says President Tsai Ing-wen has registered for the Medigen vaccine and will get her first shot on 23 August and her staff will plan the inoculation route at thevaccination site in accordance with security and anti-coronavirus protocols in order to avoid inconveniencing other people being inoculated that same day.
Officials say Vice President William Lai will register for a Medigen vaccine soon.
The Central Epidemic Command Center says nearly 39% of Taiwan's population of 23.5 million people have now received one coronavirus vaccine shot, and 2.8% have received the two doses needed to be fully vaccinated.
In other vaccine news, another local vaccine maker, United Biomedical, says it plans to appeal the Food and Drug Administration's rejection of its request for emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine.
The local drug maker is describing the rejection as "regrettable" and is questioning the FDA's standards for EUAs.
According to United Biomedical, the EUA standard only considers virus neutralizing antibodies, or GMTs, in assessing how effective a vaccine candidate might be, but it believes the reaction of T cells should also be part of the equation.
The company is also calling on the FDA to compare its vaccine's effectiveness against the Delta variant with that of the AstraZeneca vaccine, given that the variant is currently the most transmittable and contagious virus.
And United Biomedical says only by doing that can the vaccine's "efficacy be evaluated more objectively."
The FDA says it respects the company's right to file the appeal, and says it will review it and then decide if it's necessary to hold another experts' meeting.