More COVID-19 vaccines coming to Taiwan as case spikes

Taipei — The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine is coming to Taiwan soon, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance said Monday.

The surge in coronavirus infections in Taiwan, one of the world’s success stories of COVID-19 mitigation, has led to a rapid shortage of 300,000 inventories, with only about 1% of 23 million people vaccinated. ..

Taiwan was a model for how to control a pandemic, but over the past week, more than 700 domestic cases out of a total of 2,017 cases recorded have been reported, and government tightening regulations have led to panic buying in supermarkets. It was triggered.

The GAVI Vaccine Alliance, which is implementing the COVAX scheme in collaboration with the World Health Organization, said more AstraZeneca vaccines would come to Taiwan as they provided doses to hard-to-find countries.

COVAX expects Taiwan to receive the allotted dose by the end of June at the latest, the alliance said in a statement to Reuters.

“The goal is to receive 76 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from AZ between February and June and supply it to up to 80 countries, with the next tranche of the vaccine to Taiwan coming soon. I expect it to be done. “

Taiwan has ordered 20 million doses of vaccine, not only from AstraZeneca Plc, but also from Moderna, but supply is declining due to global shortages.

Taiwan states that it plans to take more than 1 million AstraZeneca shots via COVAX.

There is only AstraZeneca vaccine in Taiwan. Last week, health officials stopped injecting people who weren’t on the priority list, including the elderly and medical staff.

AstraZeneca said it has promised widespread and equitable access to vaccines through its COVAX facility, including supply to Taiwan.

Moderna did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Taiwan’s health minister, Chen Shih-chung, told reporters that there was “no new progress” reporting on the arrival of the vaccine, but that more vaccines would be introduced over time. He didn’t reveal the details.

The opposition Kuomintang has called on the world to ensure that the major semiconductor maker, the island, receives priority support.

“Taiwan’s pandemic is related to the stability of the global electronics supply chain,” party chairman Johnny Chiang said on Sunday.

Further concern for the government was China. The Chinese administration considers Taiwan part of its territory and threatens war to bring the island into its territory. Jeju is a virtually independent country with democratically elected governments, troops, constitutions, and currencies.

China ships domestically developed vaccines worldwide and provides them to Taiwan via COVAX, but Taiwanese law does not allow the use of Chinese vaccines.

Security officials monitoring China’s activities in Taiwan told Reuters that the Taipei government “caused confusion” in Beijing and engaged in a “cognitive war” to undermine public confidence in how to deal with pandemics. He said he believed in it.

“They are trying to emphasize the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines and how the government is blindly fixing expectations for vaccines and homemade vaccines from the United States.”

Ben Blanchard and Imou Lee

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report