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Taiwan to receive first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX

ROC Central News Agency

04/03/2021 08:05 PM

Taipei, April 3 (CNA) The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines allocated to Taiwan through the global vaccine sharing program COVAX will be delivered Sunday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (ι™³ζ™‚δΈ­) said Saturday.

The 199,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are being shipped from Amsterdam on a China Airlines flight, which is scheduled to land at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday morning, Chen said during a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) press briefing in Taipei.

Chen, who heads the CECC, said 1.02 million doses of AstraZeneca have been allocated to Taiwan through COVAX, and delivery was scheduled to start in February but was delayed.

Following the delivery of Taiwan's first allocation from COVAX on Sunday, the country hopes to later obtain other vaccine brands when they become available through the sharing program, Chen said.

The government had said earlier that Taiwan had signed contracts to purchase a total of 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, and 4.76 million doses of unspecified vaccine brands through the COVAX allocation program. On March 3, Taiwan took delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines -- 117,000 doses purchased directly from AstraZeneca -- and began the rollout on March 22.

As of Saturday, 17,056 people, mostly medical workers and hospital staff, had received their first dose of AstraZeneca, CECC data showed.

Chen and Premier Su Tseng-chang (θ˜‡θ²žζ˜Œ) were among the first to receive the jab on March 22, while President Tsai Ing-wen (θ”‘θ‹±ζ–‡) has said she is waiting for a locally developed vaccine.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Kay Liu)

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