President Tsai Ing-wen is the first Taiwanese to receive a locally produced vaccine


Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen received the first dose of the domestically developed CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus (commonly known as the new coronavirus) on the island and was released to the public on August 23.

The vaccine produced by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. received urgent approval from regulators in July using a shortcut that prompted fierce opposition from parts of Taiwan’s medical and scientific community.

Taiwanese regulators have bypassed the large, long-term studies commonly used to approve vaccines. Instead, the level of antibody that Medigen’s vaccine was able to produce was compared to the level of AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which was approved by many governments and underwent all three-stage clinical trials. A two-dose Medigen protein subunit vaccine uses a portion of the coronavirus to teach the body to initiate an immune response.

The decision to grant approval based on the new standard has resigned an expert on the Vaccine Advisory Board. Critics say that giving approval before completing a complete clinical trial does not provide enough information about how effective the vaccine is in protection from COVID-19 in the real world. Early studies may have promising results.

Although blood antibody levels are known to correlate with disease protection, scientists still do not know what the exact levels are.

Regulators said Medigen must submit actual validity data within one year of approval. They said that when the vaccine was approved, the data provided by Medigen showed that it produced 3.4 times higher levels of neutralizing antibodies than the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Tsai received the first dose of the vaccine on Monday morning at the National Taiwan University Gymnasium in Taipei.

As of August 20, 40% of Taiwan’s population of 23 million had been vaccinated with the CCP virus at least once.

The island’s vaccination policy is to prioritize the first injection, and only the highest-risk groups, such as health care workers, will receive the first two full doses.

Associated Press