Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Tuesday reported five new COVID-19 cases in Taiwan and said it will soon drop the age for people who are eligible to receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine.
The five new COVID-19 cases, all imported, involved two Taiwanese and three foreign nationals who recently traveled to Taiwan from Vietnam, the United States, South Africa, Eswatini, and Russia, according to the CECC.
Four of the patients tested positive while in quarantine, while one had tested positive overseas before returning to Taiwan on a medical charter flight to seek treatment, the CECC said.
Also Tuesday, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung said the CECC will begin distributing its latest batch of 1.08 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to local governments on Sept. 28 and will lower the age eligibility in that round of vaccination.
The vaccine will be administered as a second dose to seniors aged 70 and over and indigenous people aged 60 and over, who received their first Moderna dose before July 16, Chen said.
The CECC lowered the age categories, after it said last week that the second Moderna shots in that round of vaccination would be administered to seniors 75 years old and over.
According to Chen, local health authorities will inform people in the eligible groups when and where they can get their second Moderna jab.
He said data shows that the second Moderna shot usually causes more severe side effects than the first one, including pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pains, chills, nausea, and sometimes fever.
The side effects, however, usually subside in a few days, he said, advising that people see a doctor if they get a fever that lasts more than two days, or they develop breathing problems, dizziness, increased heart rate or body rash after receiving the vaccine.
To date, Taiwan has confirmed a total of 16,152 COVID-19 cases, of which 14,414 are domestic infections reported since May 15, when the country first recorded more than 100 cases in a single day.
With no new deaths reported Tuesday for the second consecutive day, the number of confirmed COVID-19 fatalities in the country remained at 840, with all but 12 recorded since May 15, CECC data showed.