TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday (April 15) announced that Taiwan will begin to receive shipments of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine in May.
During a press conference on Thursday, CECC Spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) announced that Taiwan will begin to receive doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in May rather than the end of April as has been reported by some media outlets. In February, Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) stated that Taiwan has purchased 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
At that time, Chen said the Moderna shots were expected to arrive in batches in May and June. Chen said the company had initially agreed to sell 5 million doses to Taiwan, but the CECC was able to negotiate an additional 50,000 doses.
According to Chen, the vaccine will be stored in special freezers in 22 counties and cities. He further stated that all local health departments are capable of maintaining the vaccine in frozen form at minus 20 degrees Celsius.
He said that after thawing, the vaccine can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees for about 30 days, which makes it much easier to store than the Pfizer vaccine. Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) pointed out that after two doses, the Moderna jab has an efficacy rating of 94.1 percent, very close to Pfizer's 95 percent.
As for the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines, Chuang stated that it is slated to arrive in the country through COVAX before June 15. As of Thursday, a total of 28,467 people in Taiwan have received the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the CECC.