TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines Taiwan secured via the global distribution mechanism COVAX arrived in the country on Sunday (April 4) and will be inspected before they are cleared for use.
The 199,200 jabs are among the 1.02 million pledged to Taiwan by COVAX. The first shipments were supposed to have arrived in February but were delayed due to global supply woes, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
The vaccines were manufactured in South Korea, as were the 117,000 doses that arrived last month after being procured from the drugmaker directly, said Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中). Taiwan has agreed to purchase a total of 10 million COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.
The country began national immunization against the coronavirus in March. As of Saturday (April 3), more than 17,000 people had received a shot, with 63 cases having reported adverse reactions, per CNA.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare on March 31 announced measures to expand the scope of those eligible for inoculation to include medical workers in registered healthcare facilities, non-medical workers at hospitals, and staff at centralized quarantine centers.