TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Wednesday (Oct. 13) that Taiwan needs to administer at least 4.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to reach the goal of achieving a 70% first-dose vaccination rate and 30% second-dose vaccination rate by the end of October.
Noting that vaccination is key to epidemic control and returning to normalcy, Chen said during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing that reaching the goal in time is a tall order and will pose a challenge to medical personnel, CNA reported.
When asked about whether there are stocks of overdue COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the CECC head said the latest overdue vaccine lot was the Moderna vaccine that expired on Oct. 3, according to the report. However, Chen said, no overdue vaccine doses have been administered to people.
The next in line to expire are 4,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which would go bad on Oct. 30 if left unused. All other vaccine doses have longer validity periods, he added.
When asked whether 70% of Taiwanese adults having had at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine means there will be a relaxation of restrictions or reopening of the country, Chen said the standards for lowering the alert level have not been determined.
Regarding predictions that COVID-19 would evolve into another flu after three years, Chen declined to give an opinion.