Second generation Moderna vaccine
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) says Taiwan will likely be one of the first countries to receive shipments of the second-generation Moderna vaccine if it proves effective.
The vaccine is currently in clinical trials in the US and United Kingdom.
The government signed a contract with Moderna in July of last year to procure 35 million coronavirus vaccine doses between 2022 and 2023.
Under that deal, Taiwan has the option to choose second-generation vaccines.
Figures show that 83.3% of the population has received at least one shot, while 78% has received two doses and 48.2% of the population has now received a booster shot since third doses were rolled out in December of last year.
In other Covid news, the health minister has refuted media reports that the recent increase in imported Covid-19 cases was making it harder to relax quarantine rules and border restrictions.
Chen Shi-chung says there's no such pressure but he needs to continue monitoring the numbers.
Health authorities reported over 100 imported infections each day for 2 consecutive days on the weekend.
Currently the quarantine time for inbound travellers and those listed as close contacts with infected individuals is 10 days, and Chen said last week that it will be reduced further to 7, 5 and three days depending on the situation.
Meanwhile the minister has admitted that a huge batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will be discarded as they had passed their expiry date.
Asked if there are a large quantity of surplus doses of the Moderna vaccine about to expire, which was reported by some media, Chen says he is not aware of this information.