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Taiwan to push back 2nd Moderna vaccine dose

Health minister says studies show higher efficacy when shots at least 6 weeks apart

Moderna vaccine

Moderna vaccine (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is planning to extend the period between the first and second doses of the Moderna COVID vaccine amid a tight supply and hopes of expanding coverage.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the second shot of the Moderna vaccine should be administered 28 days after the first. However, the WHO also said countries with short vaccine supply “could consider delaying the second dose up to 12 weeks in order to achieve a higher first dose coverage in high priority populations.”

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Monday (July 5) that currently, the main goal is to get more people their first dose. However, he did not give a specific interval between the first and second shots, only that it would be longer than 28 days, according to CNA.

Chen added that some studies have shown Moderna to be more effective when shots are spaced at least six weeks apart.

According to data from the National Center for High-performance Computing, 2,518,860 people in Taiwan have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while only 46,461 people are fully vaccinated.