CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan has completed digital COVID certificate system: Minister

10/25/2021 02:05 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) Taiwan has completed the design of a national digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate system, which will recognize local Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccines and most WHO approved vaccines, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Monday.

Chen also said that Taiwan's foreign missions have been tasked with promoting cross-system bilateral validation with other nations, but did not say when the program would be launched.

Speaking at a legislative hearing, Chen announced that Taiwan has completed its own digital COVID-19 vaccination recognition system that will broadly follow the model adopted by the European Union.

The EU initiated its "EU Digital COVID Certificate" on July. 1.

The certification is digital proof that an individual has either been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from the virus.

Taiwan's program references the EU system, while also adopting three conditions based on the effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine, the dependency of a brand, and mutual boarder access based on reciprocal vaccine verification.

Asked what vaccines will be recognized by the system, Chen said any brand that has received an EUA from the government would be listed.

As for vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), Taiwan's policy will be "to technically accept them with potential exceptions made," Chen said.

Should definitive evidence suggest a specific vaccine lacks the ability to effectively inoculate, that brand would be omitted from Taiwan's system, he added.

Data released on Monday show that 67.7 percent of Taiwan
Data released on Monday show that 67.7 percent of Taiwan's 23.43 million population have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 27.3 percent have been fully vaccinated.

In related news, recent clinical studies suggest that the efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine on children between the ages of 5-11 could be as high as 90.7 percent.

The United States Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is set to convene on Oct. 26 to discuss a request to amend Pfizer's EUA for administration of the BNT vaccine to children 5-11 years of age.

Responding to the news, Chen said should the U.S. decide to approve inoculating children ages 5-11, Taiwan would only consider discussing the issue after observing a sizable number of cases over a long period.

He noted that the pandemic is more severe in the U.S., resulting in a higher possibility of infection in children. Conversely, as Taiwan is experiencing a drop in cases, the best plan at present is to take a more cautious approach, he said.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and James Lo)

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