According to reliable sources, Taiwan has finally received its first batch of BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccines with the help of prominent tech firms including TSMC and Foxconn after months of political and diplomatic disputes.
It is to be noted that the country has long blamed China for allegedly canceling an original order for vaccines from BioNTech earlier this year. The government of Taiwan then asked Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing to negotiate for the vaccine doses.
These tech firms then signed a USD 350 million deal with BioNTech for 10 million vaccine shots earlier in July. These doses will now be donated to the government for distribution.
The vaccine doses arrived in a cargo flight from Luxembourg at around 7 a.m. on Thursday which was received by Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung and TSMC charity foundation’s chairwoman Sophie Chang.
Interestingly, Chinese pharma giant Fosun Pharmaceuticals had posted a picture of one of the vaccine crates having the names of the vaccine, Fosun, and BioNTech in Chinese letters printed on a large label. The label was then removed from the crate before sending the doses to Taiwan.
On the other hand, China announced the date of vaccine arrival in the country ahead of Chen’s daily news briefing.
Taiwan has managed to receive the doses early than the expected time owing to the delay in regulatory approval of the shots for their use in Mainland China.
The country has received more than 10 million vaccine doses till now that includes shots by Moderna and AstraZeneca. Vaccine shots from local developer Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. are also being administered to the masses.
Despite having millions of vaccine doses in order, only 5 % of Taiwan’s total population has been fully vaccinated so far.
Source credits –