CORONAVIRUS/China-based donor offers Taiwan NGO 10 million doses of COVID vaccine
Taipei, May 29 (CNA) A non-governmental organization in Taiwan said Saturday it has received an offer of 10 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccine from a cultural center in Beijing.
Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), president of the NGO Sun Yat-sen School and a member of the main opposition Kuomintang, said he will proceed with the paperwork to obtain the necessary authorization for importation of the vaccines.
The offer of 10 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccines has come from Zeng Nian (曾念), director of a cross-Taiwan Strait cultural center based in Beijing, Chang said.
Once the proper authorization is obtained, the donation will made though Sun Yat-sen School, and the vaccines will be handed over to the Taiwan government for distribution, he said.
Half of the vaccines will be the German BioNTech brand, supplied via the Chinese company Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. (Fosun Pharma), Chang said.
The other half will be COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese developer Sinopharm's Beijing Institute of Biological Products, which received authorization for emergency use from the World Health Organization earlier this month, he said.
Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said earlier in the day that while he was grateful to see the efforts being made by private entities to obtain vaccines for Taiwan, all contracts relating to vaccine procurement must be signed between the Taiwanese government and the original manufacturers.
Chen said he was encouraging discussions about all possible channels and related paperwork with people interested in the issue, but the government has to be involved in public health matters.
Several private entities in Taiwan, including Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and the Buddhist organization Fo Guang Shan, have offered to procure COVID-19 vaccines from abroad amid a shortage and as domestic infections continue to surge.
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