Taiwan's COVID-19 vaccines to arrive Q2 2021 at earliest: Health ministry

Minister of Health and Welfare says goal is to have 60% of population vaccinated in Q3 of 2021

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Hsueh Jui-yuan

Hsueh Jui-yuan (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) said on Monday that domestic COVID-19 vaccines under development are expected to hit the market in the second quarter of next year at the earliest.

Hsueh made the statement during a legislative hearing, in answer to Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao’s (賴士葆) question asking about when the vaccines will be available, CNA reported. Fielding a question about when the pandemic will end, Hsueh said that it depends on whether the vaccines can be successfully developed, and if so, how quickly.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that if the development of domestic COVID-19 vaccines goes smoothly — and current results are encouraging — the goal is to have 60 percent of the population vaccinated in the third quarter of next year.

When asked by another KMT legislator why Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) is not planning to buy Chinese vaccines via the COVAX platform, Chen said that Taiwan traditionally does not import Chinese blood products and vaccines, as Taiwan has been suspicious of their quality due to problems in the past.