TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — By October, 60 percent of Taiwan’s more than 23 million inhabitants could receive their first jab against COVID-19, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Friday (May 28).
The Level 3 alert for the coronavirus was initially slated to end after Friday, but continued local infections at the rate of around 300 a day have persuaded the government to extend its measures until June 14.
While the country’s vaccination program has been criticized by some as being too slow, batches of both AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are arriving in Taiwan Friday.
Responding to questions from lawmakers about the situation, Chen said he believes the number of vaccines available by the end of the year will be sufficient to have 60 percent of the population receive their first jab by October at the latest, CNA reported.
The minister estimated 10 million doses would arrive in Taiwan over the next few months. Revealing details of the timetable, Chen said the 11 million doses to arrive by August would still not be enough to get 60 percent their first dose but that around 14 million extra doses would be available by September.
If the vaccination campaign goes ahead soon after the arrival of those vaccines, then the objective of 60 percent could be achieved in October, according to Chen.