The Taiwanese government has announced its plan to distribute Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine against the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 before the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival holiday weekend. The vaccine received emergency use authorization on September 13 and will initially be offered to individuals aged 65 and above. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) expects to receive a total of 6 million updated Moderna shots by the end of this year, with the first batch of 700,000 doses scheduled for delivery in the coming days.
According to the government, the updated Moderna vaccine utilizes similar technology to previous shots and provides strong protection against the Omicron XBB sublineage, which is currently the dominant strain in Taiwan. In terms of safety, adverse reactions to the vaccine are generally mild to moderate in severity and comparable to those observed with previous Moderna COVID-19 shots.
In recent weeks, Taiwan has recorded low numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Between September 12 and 18, an average of 40 local infections and 6 deaths per day were reported, according to CDC data.
It is crucial for Taiwan to continue its vaccination efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect its population. The availability of the Moderna vaccine provides an additional tool to combat the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, which has been a primary concern in the region. The government’s prioritization of individuals aged 65 and above reflects their vulnerability to severe illness and demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding the most at-risk populations.
By administering the Moderna vaccine, Taiwan can enhance its vaccine coverage and further mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The government’s proactive approach to securing doses and ensuring a steady supply is an essential step in managing the pandemic and maintaining public health.
– Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5: A specific mutation of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
– Emergency use authorization (EUA): A regulatory mechanism that allows expedited approval of medical products during public health emergencies.
– Centers for Disease Control (CDC): A government agency responsible for monitoring and controlling disease outbreaks.]
Source: Tseng Yi-ning and Lee Hsin-Yin, CNA