Taiwan to receive first doses of Novavax COVID vaccine this week

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows vials labelled "VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19" and a syringe in front of a displayed Novavax logo
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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan will take delivery of its first doses of the Novavax Inc COVID-19 vaccine this week, received under the COVAX sharing scheme, the government said on Wednesday.

Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Centre said the 504,000 doses would arrive on Thursday at Taipei's main international airport.

Taiwan is scheduled to receive 2.268 million doses of the Novavax vaccine in batches this year through the COVAX mechanism, it added.

The shot is yet to be authorised in the United States, but is cleared for use in adults in more than 40 countries including Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The company's COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be more than 90% effective in two large, late-stage trials.

Taiwan has to date been using the AstraZeneca PLC, Moderna Inc, BioNTech SE/Pfizer Inc and domestically developed Medigen vaccines.

Taiwan has a well-vaccinated population with more than 70% of its people having had a first booster shot, with second boosters now being rolled out.

The island of 23 million people has reported more than 3.7 million infections so far this year having previously kept the pandemic well under control, though new cases are now waning.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Stephen Coates)