Taiwan will be among the first recipients internationally of the first round of COVID-19 vaccines distributed by a platform co-led by the World Health Organization to ensure equitable global access, local media reported on Friday.

The Central News Agency quoted Central Epidemic Command Center spokesman Chuang Jen-hsiang as saying that although Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, it and five to eight nonmembers will share 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Britain's AstraZeneca Plc in the first round of vaccine distribution, with the earliest delivery date being late this month.

Chuang said that if all goes well, the first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed with the University of Oxford is expected to arrive in Taiwan between February and June and the vaccination drive can begin one week after.

The COVAX program for novel coronavirus vaccines, backed by 190 participating countries, is intended to ensure equitable worldwide access.

Taiwan has succeeded in suppressing the spread of coronavirus infections. To date, it has recorded 923 confirmed cases, with nine deaths