TAIPEI (TAIWAN) – Emergency use authorisation has been granted to AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday. The first batch of 200,000 AstraZeneca vaccines provided by COVAX could begin arriving next week.
“Assuming the paperwork is in order, the first shots can begin with a week of arrival,” said Food and Drug Administration Director-General Wu Shou-mei. He added that the process for granting it emergency-use approval was in full swing.
In December, Taiwan said it had agreed to buy almost 20 million vaccine doses, including 10 million from AstraZeneca and 4.76 million doses from the COVAX global vaccine programme. They are also getting five million doses from US drugmaker Moderna Inc.
The government plans to vaccinate frontline health and quarantine workers first, and aims eventually to get 30 million vaccine doses to cover about 65% of the island’s population.
Germany’s BioNTech SE said this week it plans to provide COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, after the island complained the firm pulled out of a deal to sell it 5 million doses at the last minute, possibly due to pressure from China, which claims Taiwan as its own.