CORONAVIRUS/Health minister reveals Taiwan has signed up to COVAX

09/25/2020 06:26 PM
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Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (right) and Premier Su Tseng-chang. CNA photo Sept. 25, 2020
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (right) and Premier Su Tseng-chang. CNA photo Sept. 25, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Answering questions at the Legislature Friday, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) revealed that Taiwan signed up to the COVAX global vaccine allocation plan last week and expects to pay its deposit to the organization next month.

Speaking to lawmakers during an interpellation session, Chen said the agreement was signed on Sept. 18, and the government plans to put down a deposit by early October.

However, the amount of the deposit was not mentioned.

COVAX is co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a global initiative that aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

According to COVAX, its initial aim is to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021, which should be enough to protect high risk and vulnerable people, as well as frontline healthcare workers.

At the Legislative Yuan, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said the government is encouraging domestic manufacturers to focus on the research and development of local vaccines while also acquiring effective products from overseas and cooperating with vaccine teams in other countries.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Ko Lin)

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