Taiwan has faced a record number of cases intercepted at the border in recent days as a second wave of BA.2 spreads across the world, coinciding with many Western countries surrendering to COVID and abandoning their surveillance programs.
Just four days after a record 118 cases were intercepted at the border in the 24 hours leading up to statistics sharing on March 20th, 124 cases were intercepted in the leadup to March 24th.
Hong Kong data shows that nearly 100% of the cases are from the latest wave caused by the BA.2 strain. They recently hit a million cases, meaning that nearly a seventh of their population has been infected just since the beginning of the year.
There has been speculation in the Taiwanese media that because of Hong Kong’s earlier vaccination, that protection has waned leading to mass infections. There was also a spike in local cases, with a new recent high of 15 cases reported today, every single one of whom was vaccinated, and 11 of which were triple vaccinated against COVID.
This Taiwanese data seriously calls into questions the efficacy of the vaccinations or boosters against the BA.2 strain.
This occurs just as Pfizer recently released new data in support of their pushes for the US government to keep subsidizing booster doses, but whose trial period ended in the Summer of last year long before Omicron emerged, giving no hints as to whether those older vaccines offer protection against newer strains.
The CECC is in the process of evaluating whether to further shorten the quarantine periods for incoming travelers, despite these increases and the government’s persistent inability to bring the number of local cases down to zero.