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COVID-19 vaccine unlikely to be available within 7 days: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

03/04/2021 05:38 PM

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) The COVID-19 vaccine that arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday will not be distributed within seven days, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) reiterated Thursday.

"The inspection of vaccines is a time-consuming process," CECC spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press briefing in Taipei.

He reiterated what Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said a day earlier, namely that this is the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine Taiwan has received, so authorities will be particularly thorough in the inspection process.

As a result, it is unlikely the vaccine will be available within seven days, Chuang said.

Taiwan received 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday morning. CECC officials have declined to estimate when vaccine distribution will officially begin.

However, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of inspecting the vaccine, previously told reporters that the usual 30-40 day assessment process could be shortened to as few as seven days.

FDA agents headed to the warehouse where the AstraZeneca vaccine is being stored on Wednesday afternoon to confirm the number of doses in the shipment and whether they were kept at an appropriate temperature throughout the shipping process, the FDA said on Thursday.

The agents also checked a portion of the vaccine to see if there are visible irregularities, and sent some sample doses to the lab for further testing, the FDA said.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Chiang Yi-ching)


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