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Second-generation Moderna vaccine to arrive as early as Sept.: CECC

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Image from Unsplash for illustrative purposes

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Moderna's second-generation COVID-19 vaccine is currently under review for emergency use authorization (EUA) and could be delivered to Taiwan as early as September, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday.

The updated vaccine, which targets both the original virus from 2020 and the Omicron subvariant BA.1, was approved by British regulators on Monday, and is expected to be gradually rolled out in the European Union and Australia over the coming months, CECC spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said at a press conference.

By contrast, the United States has said that it plans to wait for a new vaccine targeting the BA.5 subvariant, which is still being tested and is unlikely to be market-ready for some time, Chuang said.

In the case of Taiwan, regulators are currently evaluating the updated Moderna vaccine for EUA -- a process that will necessarily take into consideration the expected rise in domestic COVID-19 cases in August and September, according to Chuang.

If the vaccine is authorized before September, Taiwan could receive its first batch of the shots by the middle of that month, Chuang said, while declining to comment on how the EUA review was progressing.

As of Aug. 15, 92.2 percent of the eligible population in Taiwan had received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 86.2 percent had received a second shot, 71.7 percent had gotten a first booster shot, and 8.3 percent a second booster, according to CECC data.

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