CORONAVIRUS/400,000 doses of AZ vaccine donated by Poland arrive in Taiwan

09/05/2021 11:03 AM
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Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (second, right) and the head of Polish Office in Taipei Bartosz Ryś welcome the arrival of the 400,000 doses of AZ vaccine at Taoyuan International Airport. Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (second, right) and the head of Polish Office in Taipei Bartosz Ryś welcome the arrival of the 400,000 doses of AZ vaccine at Taoyuan International Airport. Photo courtesy of the Central Epidemic Command Center

Taoyuan, Sept. 5 (CNA) A total of 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine donated by Poland arrived in Taiwan on Sunday morning, making the central European country Taiwan's third-largest vaccine donor, after Japan and the United States.

The EVA Air BR66 flight carrying the batch of vaccine from Vienna touched down at the Taoyuan International Airport at 6:16 a.m.

Soon after their arrival, the vaccine doses were transported to the designated cold chain warehouse and sealed for inspection before they can be administered.

One of the messages displayed by the Taipei 101 skyscraper to show appreciation for the vaccine donated by Poland. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2021
One of the messages displayed by the Taipei 101 skyscraper to show appreciation for the vaccine donated by Poland. CNA photo Sept. 5, 2021

Earlier this year, Japan donated 3.34 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan and the U.S. donated 2.5 million doses of the Moderna brand of vaccine to the country.

Poland is also the fourth European Union member state to have pledged vaccine donations to Taiwan, following Lithuania (20,000 doses of AZ vaccine), Slovakia (10,000 doses of an unspecific brand of vaccine) and the Czech Republic (30,000 doses of Moderna).

The chart is updated Sunday afternoon to include a shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX.
The chart is updated Sunday afternoon to include a shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX.

To date, Taiwan has taken delivery of approximately 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 5.89 million doses of which were donated by other countries.

According to Poland, its donation is a gesture of gratitude to Taiwan for donating one million face masks, 5,000 protective suits, and 20,000 surgical gowns to the country last year after the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world and such supplies were short in many countries.

The European country is now making the vaccine donation to Taiwan to return the favor and to help Taiwan boost its vaccination rate, it said.

In response, Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) thanked the Polish government for the donation.

Chang said Taiwan and Poland have provided medical equipment to each other during the global pandemic, adding that the vaccine donation once again demonstrated mutual support between democratic countries.

(By Wu Ruei-chi and Joseph Yeh)

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