Taiwan receives 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced on Wednesday that the first batch of 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine arrived in Taiwan at Taoyuan Airport from South Korea (Korean Air, Flight KE691) at 10: 21 a.m.

After completing customs clearance procedures, the vaccines were transported to the designated cold storage center, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said, adding that more vaccines will arrive in the near future.

The vaccine is packaged in a multi-dosage form (10 doses per bottle) and stored in an environment of 2-8 degrees Celcius. According to clinical trial results, each person needs to take 2 doses, the CECC said.

The CECC pointed out that after discussion with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP, 傳染病防治諮詢會預防接種組), it was suggested that the interval between 2 doses should be at least 8 weeks.

The CECC listed all medical and other related personnel, and classified them into 1 to 3 levels, according to their risk classifications. (Photo courtesy of the CECC)

First-priority medical personnel will be the first to receive the vaccines in accordance with the priority order recommended by the ACIP for COVID-19 vaccine implementation targets, the CECC added.

Chen explained that among the 10 million doses of AZ vaccine to be delivered to Taiwan, the initial 117,000 doses have been provided.

According to the national COVID-19 specialized hospitals and other medical institutions, medical and other related personnel have been inventoried, and are divided into 1 to 3 levels, according to their risk classifications.

Among them, the first category of “direct care” includes the front-line staff with confirmed and suspected cases, culminating in a total of 50,716 people being given priority.