Taiwans health authorities have admitted they may have to dispose of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines because of a public reluctance to get the jab, The Telegraph’s Asia correspondent Nicola Smith reports below:
To date, Taiwan has received 117,000 vaccine doses directly from AstraZeneca, with an expiration date of June 15, and 199,200 of the same brand supplied through COVAX, which are due to expire on May 31.
However, only 28,465 of its almost 24 million population has been inoculated.
Chuang Jen-hsiang, a senior official at the Centres for Disease Control, said the authorities had been instructed to ask the vaccines manufacturers about extending their shelf life.
In the worst case, the expiration date would be unalterable and the vaccines disposed of, he said, according to the Taipei Times.
The reluctance has been attributed to safety fears after reports of European countries stopping the rollout of the vaccine despite its approval by the World Health Organisation.
Hesitancy has also been fuelled by a lack of urgency in Taiwan, which stopped community spread of Covid-19 last April through strict quarantine requirements and border closures.
It has so far seen only 1,069 cases and 11 deaths from the virus.

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