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Mix-and-match vaccine policy to start with medical staff: CECC

ROC Central News Agency

08/06/2021 09:32 PM

Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) Taiwan is considering starting its mix-and-match approach for COVID-19 vaccines by allowing medical staff who have received a jab of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine to get an mRNA vaccine as the second shot.

The government is assessing the possibility to be able to give immediate protection to frontline medical workers and people in the first three vaccine priority groups, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), said Friday.

On July 25, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices under Chen's ministry approved the mix-and-match approach for COVID-19 vaccines, paving the way for people who have received an AZ jab to use an mRNA vaccine as their second shot.

Fewer than 2 percent of Taiwan's population has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and with the delivery of future doses of various brands uncertain, the government seems to be willing to accept a mix-and-match approach.


Note: Taiwan's vaccine rollout began on March 22, first with doses from AstraZeneca, then the Moderna ones on June 9.

The Central Epidemic Commend Center (CECC), which is responsible for Taiwan's COVID-19 response, has recommended at least eight weeks between taking AZ and an mRNA vaccine.

A timetable has yet to be set, however, and the number of prospective recipients is being calculated, said Chen, who also heads the CECC, on Friday.

Meanwhile, registration is also open for people to get a second dose of the same vaccine as the first dose they received.

Those aged 65 and above who had a first dose of the AZ or Moderna vaccine 10-12 weeks previously can register on the government platform to get a second jab, as can people listed in the first three priority groups and pregnant women who had their first AZ shots at least four weeks previous to the registration deadline of Aug. 11, Chen said.

The top three priority groups in Taiwan are medical and frontline personnel, epidemic prevention workers, and people at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their jobs.

Chen said, meanwhile, that the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. will be available when the next round of vaccination registration kicks off in late August.

After the Medigen vaccine gained the government's emergency use authorization in July, some 350,000 doses of the brand's vaccines have been inspected and are ready to be administered, possibly by the end of this month.


As of Friday noon, a total of 8,875,048 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Taiwan, and 35.84 percent of Taiwan's population had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

(By Flor Wang and Chang Ming-hsuan)


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