Taiwan received 240,000 vaccine doses from US company Moderna on Friday, helping to ease the stress on the island’s large-scale vaccination programme amid its worst Covid-19 outbreak.
The shipment is the second batch, with an expiry date of December 15, supplied by the manufacturer. The first batch of 150,000 doses arrived on May 28. So far, the government has purchased 5.05 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
When Taiwan, with 23.6 million people, began to speed up its vaccination drive in early June it had secured 2.11 million doses. The government said the number of available doses should reach 10 million by the end of August.
Earlier this month, Japan sent Taiwan 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab and the US recently announced it would donate 750,000 vaccine doses to Taiwan in near future.
On Friday, both Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Yonglin Foundation, run by Foxconn Technology Group founder Terry Gou, were authorized by the government to purchase 5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each directly from Germany. The total 10 million doses will be donated to the government in the future, according to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
“We look forward to the cooperation between the public and the private sectors,” CECC chief Chen Shih-chung told a news conference.
Since the pandemic began, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 13,771 infections. On Friday, the death toll due reached 518.