Shipment term

COVID-19: Arrival of the first shipment of Pfizer vaccines for children

INFORMED CHOICE:
Parents should research Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines before deciding which is best to give their children, health minister says

  • By Lee I-chia / Staff Reporter

The first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children, containing 777,600 doses, arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the vaccine would be given to children between the ages of 5 and 11 as the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The doses expire on September 30, he added.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

The CECC had previously said the shipment was due to arrive on Thursday last week, but the manufacturer abruptly informed the center before the plane took off that the delivery would be rescheduled due to system errors.

Chen said the 777,600 doses would be enough for all eligible children whose parents want them to be vaccinated, as less than 1.2 million children in the eligible age group are expected to be vaccinated, while some parents may choose to use the Moderna COVID-19. vaccine.

The shipment is part of a contract the government signed on April 28 to buy 2.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children and about 1.8 million doses of its vaccine for adults.

The remaining 1.4 million doses for children are to be delivered in future shipments, Chen said.

As the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines each have pros and cons, the center encourages parents to educate themselves about the vaccines before deciding which one to give their children, he said.

Of about 115,000 children’s doses administered of the Moderna vaccine, half the adult dose, only two serious adverse effects were reported, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. , who is deputy chief of the CECC’s Medical Response Division.

One of the children experienced pain and weakness in his legs two days after receiving the vaccine, and another had nausea and vomiting about five minutes after receiving his vaccine, but symptoms from both incidents eased, he said.

As of Sunday, the country’s immunization rate was 85.95 percent for a first dose, 80.82 percent for a second dose and 63 percent for a first booster dose, Chen said.

A shipment of 35,280 courses of molnupiravir, an oral antiviral treatment for the treatment of COVID-19 also arrived last night.

Lo said the drug would be distributed for use nationwide as soon as possible and would be given to patients in long-term care centers and those fed by nasogastric tube, which prevents the use of the antiviral treatment Paxlovid. .

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