TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday (Sept. 10) announced its first imported breakthrough Delta infection in an individual who had received a combination of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.
A breakthrough infection is defined as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 at least 14 days after they have completed the full vaccine schedule. Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said that genomic sequencing of samples taken from imported cases reported between Sept. 3 and 9 revealed that more than 92% had been infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Lo said that over that period there were 14 imported cases reported, with 13 caused by the Delta variant and one by the Alpha variant. These cases came from a number of different countries, including the U.S., Thailand, Guatemala, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and the Gambia and included two Eva Air pilots and four ship crew members.
Of these cases, Lo said that five were classified as breakthrough infections, including case Nos. 16,059, 16,119, 16,120, 16,126, and 16,130. He pointed out that case No. 16,059 had received a mixture of vaccines, starting with an AstraZeneca jab in April followed by a Moderna shot in early August.
According to Lo, this marks the country's first case of an infection with the Delta variant following a combination of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines. He said the case was found to have a low Ct value of 27, meaning that they are still infectious and with a higher viral load.
Lo said that Taiwan has detected a total of 121 cases with the Delta variant, 95 of which were imported. The remaining 26 were local infections, including 13 in Pingtung, the son of an EVA Air cargo pilot, and 12 cases from a kindergarten cluster.
The cycle threshold (Ct) value refers to how many cycles at which the fluorescence of the PCR test is detectable. The higher the number of cycles, the longer the virus has gone undetected, while the lower the cycle number, the more recent the infection and therefore the higher the viral load.