TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A week after Taiwan received 1.24 million vaccine doses from Japan, distribution of the AstraZeneca shots is ready to start, reports said Friday (June 11).
Taiwan has been facing its worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, while vaccines have still not been imported in sufficient quantities to cover most of its population of 23.5 million.
As preparatory work has been completed, 500,000 doses of the vaccines from Japan could be ready for distribution Friday evening, with local governments deciding when to start administering them, CNA reported. Saturday (June 12) is the earliest the campaign can start.
The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) had initially planned to go ahead with distribution during the June 12-14 Dragon Boat Festival holiday, with vaccinations to begin after the long weekend. However, the process has been completed sooner than expected, officials said.
A total of 1,526 hospitals, clinics and health centers have applied for the vaccine doses, though each county and city has different rules about where the COVID vaccines could be administered, the CECC said.
By June 15, a second batch of more than 100,000 doses will be distributed, for a total of 660,000, with 390,000, or about 60 percent, reserved for people aged 75 and older.