CORONAVIRUS/Hon Hai founder pledges to procure 5 million vaccine doses for Taiwan

05/29/2021 10:24 PM
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Terry Gou. CNA file photo
Terry Gou. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Terry Gou (郭台銘), founder of manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said Saturday he is looking to source 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for Taiwan, via his charity foundation.

In a Facebook post, Gou said his YongLin Charity and Education Foundation plans to procure vaccines manufactured by Germany-based BioNTech SE and is not considering purchasing any brands made in China.

He said he would commission "qualified companies" to put forth the proposal to the Taiwan government for the procurement of 5 million BioNTech shots.

In a press briefing Saturday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said the importation of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan requires authorization from the manufacturers.

The vaccine must then be carefully vetted by Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration before it could obtain emergency use authorization in the country, Chen said.

Any private entity seeking to procure vaccines for Taiwan must follow the standard operating procedure, Chen said, adding that all contracts relating to vaccine procurement must be inked between the Taiwanese government and vaccine manufacturers.

Taiwanese media reported Thursday that talks between Gou and Guo Guangchang (郭廣昌), chairman of China-based Fosun International, about acquiring millions of BioNTech doses, had stalled due to political interference.

Gou said the media reports were inaccurate and that his goal was to collaborate with the government to the benefit of the society.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., a subsidiary of Fosun International, reportedly holds the franchise for supply of the German vaccine to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and China, but so far it has supplied only Hong Kong and Macau.

(By Chung Jung-feng and Teng Pei-ju)

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