Foreign residents welcome arrival of more Moderna shots on Friday

Elderly Taiwanese people wait for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination at a primary school in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The members and friends of the foreign community in Taiwan can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC, 中央流行疫情指揮中心) announced on Thursday that another batch of 1.08 million Moderna vaccines will arrive on Friday.

Coined the “Moderna Limbo” (莫德納—懸而未決) on social media, new migrants across Taiwan have expressed concerns after receiving their Moderna vaccine shot ten-plus weeks earlier as they haven’t received their follow-up message from 1922 yet.

Speaking to The China Post, an American expat, Paul (whose name has been changed), explained on Reddit that he had already received a Moderna shot in July. He qualified for early vaccination, being categorized in the priority 7 group.

In his seventies, Paul has lived in Taiwan for more than 25 years and received a Moderna shot at the Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital two months ago.

Like many others, however, he is now approaching the 10th week following his first vaccine shot, and he has still yet to receive an alert from the government on when to schedule his second vaccination.

Before Thursday’s announcement by the CECC, no further details regarding the quota of Moderna vaccines left in Taiwan and when those who received their first shot can receive their second had been released.

Worried, Paul had logged into the 1922 vaccination registration website to check if there was an appointment time available only to see a notice advising against mixing and matching vaccines, which deterred him from signing up to receive an AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine jab.

It was later announced earlier this week that the National Taiwan University Hospital Institutional Review Board (IRB, 台大醫院人體試驗倫理委員) had begun clinical trials on administering Medigen vaccine (高端疫苗) shots to those who had received Moderna vaccines as their first shot.

This led to some commotion online as it seemed to cement that suspicions had been confirmed — Taiwan does not have enough Moderna vaccines for the second round.

To Paul, this did not spell bad news as he said he would be willing to try mixing vaccines if it was determined safe, and added that “considering the concerns over Delta variant, I tend to believe any second vaccination would be better than none.”

The foreign community in Taiwan who have received Moderna shots had been concerned about the lack of information from the government regarding their second shot. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

The issue seemed to have come to a nice resolution as the CECC announced today that 1.08 million Moderna vaccines and 640,000 AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive in Taiwan on Friday, Sept. 17.

According to the CECC, the registration platform for Moderna vaccines will be re-opened on Sept. 17, so those who had received their first shot before July 9 have more than 10 weeks of space following their initial vaccine and are above age 75 can sign up for their second shot.

The CECC estimates that around 291,000 people will benefit from this and asks that the public follow instructions given by their local vaccination centers.

This means that starting tomorrow, those older than age 75 in the foreign community can log in to the vaccination registration platform and schedule their next Moderna shot.

No mixed Medigen vaccines for you!