CECC announces extension of interval period for Moderna vaccines

A nurse gives a vaccine shot to an unidentified patient in this file photo. (AP)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced that they are extending the vaccination interval of the Moderna (莫德納) vaccine on Monday.

This is due to the CECC’s hopes of expediting the number of people to receive the first dose so they can increase herd immunity.

The CECC made the decision to adjust the Moderna vaccination interval after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (預防接種組, ACIP) meeting on Sunday.

With the exception of some, everyone in Taiwan will now get their second dose 10 to 12 weeks after their first dose, instead of the original 28 days.

Those in the highest priority group, including flight crew members and pregnant women will still get the second dose of the vaccine after 28 days.

As of Sunday, a total of 3,565,840 people have been vaccinated which is around 14.87% of the population.

According to foreign clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine is about 81% effective fourteen days after the second dose.

In addition, the World Health Organization (世界衛生組織, WHO) recommends waiting at least 12 weeks before getting the second dose of Moderna.

Chen Shih Chung (陳時中), Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare, explained that the vaccination interval was changed because of the limited vaccine supply and clinical evidence. Therefore, the ACIP decided to change the vaccination interval at their fourth meeting.

The CECC stated that before receiving the second dose of the vaccine, people must make sure that they have their vaccination record card and National Health Insurance (健保卡, NHI) card.

They added that if anyone loses their vaccination record card, they must go back to the hospital or clinic where they got their first dose.

Only by showing both the record card and their NHI can they receive their second dose, the CECC said.

They also urged those who have already been vaccinated to continue following all COVID-19 protocols in order to reduce the risk of infection.

The vaccinated public should still make sure to wash their hands frequently, wear masks in public areas, and social distance so they can protect themselves and their families, the CECC added.