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Novavax to arrive in Taiwan this week, shots start mid-July

500,000 doses of Novavax to arrive in Taiwan this week, vaccinations to start after July 14

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A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed Novavax logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed Novavax logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The first batch of approximately 500,000 doses of the Novavax COVID vaccine (Nuvaxovid) is set to arrive this week and the jabs will likely be available for adults by mid-July, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC)

On June 17, Nuvaxovid was given emergency use authorization (EUA) for adults aged 18 and over by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When asked on the status of the Novavax jab at a press conference on Tuesday (June 28), CECC Spokesperson Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the vaccine will begin arriving in Taiwan at the end of June.

When asked how many doses will be included in this first batch, Chuang said that it would be about 500,000 doses, with the total order coming to 2 million. Because it is a new vaccine, Chuang said the FDA needs two weeks for inspection and re-sealing of vaccine packaging.

Therefore, he estimated that the jabs will become available to members of the public aged 18 and over after July 14. Chuang said that any adult interested in receiving the vaccine can do so after that date.

He pointed out that as a protein-based vaccine, Nuvaxovid has been found to produce fewer side effects than mRNA-based vaccines such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. He suggested that members of the public concerned about adverse reactions from COVID vaccines, particularly the elderly, can consider Nuvaxovid as an alternative.

The dosing schedule of the vaccine is two 0.5 ml shots given intramuscularly three weeks apart. Taiwan's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Monday approved the Novavax vaccine for use as a booster for adults aged 18 and over in combination with other vaccine brands available to that age group.