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Taiwan to receive 777,600 BioNTech COVID vaccine doses for children

Another 1.85 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses for adults scheduled to arrive Monday

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Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arriving in Taiwan Wednesday. 

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses arriving in Taiwan Wednesday.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A total of 777,600 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses for children are scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on May 12, with vaccinations expected to begin May 20 at the latest, reports said Thursday (May 5).

A first batch of 2,000 doses that arrived from Germany on Wednesday (May 4) were only to be used for research and testing purposes, according to officials.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) confirmed the larger number of BioNTech shots would leave Germany May 11 and arrive in Taiwan early the following day. He added the Food and Drugs Administration would need seven days to conduct the necessary tests, thus allowing vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 to start before May 20, CNA reported.

In addition, 1.85 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses for adults were scheduled to arrive Monday (May 9), the first batch under a contract for 4 million shots, the Liberty Times reported. The shots can also be administered to younger people, so the Ministry of Education will consult parents to ask for their agreement.