Taiwan says it is discussing making COVID-19 vaccines for U.S. firms

Taiwan is in talks with US companies to manufacture their COVID-19 vaccines after similar talks with European firms, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said on Saturday.

Taiwan, like much of the world, has tried to speed up its vaccination program after a surge in domestic cases, but has been hampered by global supply shortages.

Chen told reporters that they had previously held talks with European companies he did not name to manufacture their vaccines under license.

“We only recently started discussions with US companies to see if it would be possible to subcontract them,” he added, without giving any details.

Taiwan has around five million shots at the US company Moderna Inc. ordered (MRNA.O), of which 150,000 arrived. It has ordered 10 million shots from the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L).

Taiwan, also in talks with BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE)He blames China – which claims the island as its own territory – for blocking a deal with the German company earlier this year.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Friday it had been in talks with Taiwan since last year to provide its COVID-19 vaccine to the island.

About 3% of Taiwan’s 23.5 million people have had at least one vaccination. Japan donated 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday. Continue reading

While Taiwan’s domestic falls have not exploded, they are not falling dramatically. Chen announced 511 new domestic infections on Saturday.

While the cases have focused in Taipei and its neighboring city, health officials are trying to stop an outbreak in two chip packers in Miaoli, north of the island, King Yuan Electronics (2449.TW) and Greatek Electronics (2441.TW). Continue reading

However, the government has signaled that it has no plans to raise the alert level any further for the time being, now one level below the full lockdown.

“Discussions with experts continue, but there are currently no proposals for a lockdown,” said Chen.

Taiwan has reported 10,956 cases with 225 deaths since the pandemic began.

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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