TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) on Wednesday (April 13) said Taiwan is in the last stage of acquiring Pfizer's COVID vaccine for children ages five to 11.
During a session of the Legislative Yuan that morning, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Wayne Chiang (蔣萬安) pointed out that while the Ministry of Education has relaxed the threshold for suspending schools over COVID cases, children under the age of 18 have not yet received their booster shot and the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine is dwindling. Chen responded that there is a plentiful supply of the other mRNA vaccine, Moderna, which is being widely used across the world as a booster shot.
However, Chen conceded that the issue of whether Moderna is suitable for children is still being researched. He noted that the protective power of the COVID vaccines gradually decreases after the second dose and that a third dose is needed after a certain period of time.
Chiang then asked Chen to provide a status report on the procurement of vaccines for children. Chen said the shots suitable for children five to 11 years old are manufactured by Pfizer, not BioNTech.
According to Chen, the acquisition of the vaccine from Pfizer has been complicated by the fact that the negotiations involve four parties. However, he stated that the negotiations have reached the "final stage."
During a break in the proceedings, the media asked Chen whether the four parties involved in the negotiations consist of Pfizer, BioNTech, Taiwan, and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical. Chen confirmed this was "correct."