TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first batch of the long-awaited Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Taiwan early Thursday morning (Sept. 2).
The doses were transported by flight CV7962, operated by the Luxembourgian cargo airline Cargolux, which stopped over in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku. It was originally scheduled to arrive at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Sept. 1), but due to a delay, it did not depart Azerbaijan until 11 p.m.
Cargolux plane carrying Pfizer-BioNTech doses prepares to land at TPE. (CNA photo)
The flight finally touched down in Taiwan until 6:59 a.m. on Thursday. Greeting the plane were Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), TSMC Charity Foundation Chairwoman Sophie Chang (張淑芬), and Tzu Chi Foundation Executive Director Yen Po-wen (顏博文), who held up signs that read "Thank You."
According to UDN, the shipment included 932,000 doses. At a previous press conference, Chen said that after testing and sealing is completed, inoculations with the BioNTech jab should begin in mid-September.
Ground crew unloads Pfizer-BioNTech shipment. (CNA photo)
He added that if the second batch of approximately 900,000 doses arrives in Taiwan soon, it is possible both batches could be administered in the same round of vaccinations.
Once the BioNTech shots begin, the priority group will be students between the ages of 12 and 17. Registration will also open to adults between 18 and 22 years of age.