Shipment courier

The first shipment of the updated Moderna vaccine will arrive Friday evening

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) The first shipment of second-generation COVID-19 Moderna bivalent vaccines will arrive in Taiwan on Friday evening, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The shipment containing 804,000 doses will arrive in Taiwan around 10:30 p.m., CECC chief Victor Wang (王必勝) said at a press briefing.

This new batch of vaccines, which targets both the original 2020 strain of COVID-19 and the Omicron BA.1 subvariant, expires on March 29, 2023, Wang said.

The updated Moderna vaccine, he pointed out, can also provide effective protection against the BA.2 and BA.5 subvariants.

Wang said the vaccines will be distributed to local governments starting Sept. 24, and those aged 65 and older and immunocompromised adults will be the first to receive the second-generation vaccine as a booster.

People at high risk of catching COVID-19 – including people aged 50 to 64, adults who must travel internationally, and airport, port and frontline medical workers – will be next. to receive the next-generation vaccine, he added.

According to Wang, another shipment of updated Moderna vaccines, including about 800,000 doses, is expected to arrive on Sunday.

The delivery is part of a second deal Taiwan signed in July 2021 with Moderna to procure 35 million doses for 2022-2023, of which 20 million are to be delivered this year, according to the CECC.

Including the 804,000 doses expected to arrive Friday evening, Taiwan will have received 10.44 million Moderna vaccines so far, he said.