CORONAVIRUS/Japan to donate another 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan

06/25/2021 12:11 PM
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Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. CNA photo June 25, 2021
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. CNA photo June 25, 2021

Tokyo, June 25 (CNA) Japan will soon give Taiwan a second donation of 1 million COVID-19 vaccines, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.

The 1 million AstraZeneca doses will be delivered by mid-July, Motegi said at a press briefing, three weeks after his country donated 1.24 million shots of the same brand to Taiwan.

The vaccine donations are a gesture of gratitude for Taiwan's aid to Japan in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit his country in 2011, Motegi said.

On Friday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, thanking Japan for its generosity.

As of Thursday, Taiwan had taken delivery of roughly 4.8 million doses of AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines in seven shipments, from Japan, the United States, vaccine manufacturers, and via the global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX, government data showed.

Meanwhile, Japan will also supply another 1 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to Vietnam, following a shipment of the same amount earlier this month, according to Motegi.

The vaccines, developed by the British-Swedish biotech company AstraZeneca, were manufactured under license in Japan, he said.

According to Japanese media, however, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are not being administered in Japan, although the brand has received emergency use authorization there. The reason for Japan's hesitancy is the record of rare blood clots among people in other countries who have received AstraZeneca shots, the media reports said.

Japan has secured deals with other brands to procure enough COVID-19 vaccines for its entire population, according to the reports.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Teng Pei-ju)


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