The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced that people in the top three priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination, who received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine between June 9 and July 9, could start booking appointments to receive a second dose 28 days after the first.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, on Monday last week announced that only people in the first priority group — healthcare professionals and hospital workers — airline crew members and pregnant women would be allowed to receive the second dose of the Moderna vaccine 28 days after the first.
Other Moderna vaccine recipients would have to wait 10 to 12 weeks to receive their second dose, he said at the time.
Photo: Lin Ching-lun, Taipei Times
Chen yesterday said that in addition to the three groups of people announced last week, eligibility for receiving the second dose 28 days after the first would be expanded to include people in the top three priority groups who received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine between June 9 and July 9.
Thawed Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can be refrigerated at between 2°C and 8°C for up to 30 days, so the Moderna vaccine vials delivered to local governments and hospitals between July 1 and July 9 would expire between Thursday next week and Aug. 6, but there are still more than 210,570 doses left, the CECC said.
A total of 189,788 people in the top three priority groups and pregnant women received a first dose between June 9 and July 9, so there would be enough doses for all of them to receive a second dose 28 days after the first and before Aug. 6, it said.
Regarding whether the CECC would allow the mixing of COVID-19 vaccinations in Taiwan, Chen said that although people have high expectations, the center needs to gather more information on the efficacy and safety of the practice, and would allow specialists to make the final decision.
Meanwhile, Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that among the imported cases infected with the Delta variant that he reported on Friday, two received a dose of the Moderna vaccine before returning to Taiwan, and one received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before coming to Taiwan.
One of the imported cases reported yesterday had traveled to the US to get two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the middle of last month and the middle of this month, but still tested positive after returning to Taiwan, he said, adding that traveling abroad increases risk of infection, so people should be careful.
Asked if people who were vaccinated in other countries, or had mixed their vaccination brands, and suffered adverse events after being vaccinated could apply for compensation, Chen said it would be controversial if someone received a vaccine in another country, but if they received their shot in Taiwan, compensation would be offered if a causal link between the adverse event and vaccine could not be excluded.
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