• Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan People's Party legislator questions nation's slow vaccine rollout

Panel set up last month to investigate country’s vaccine purchases has still not met

Lai Hsiang-ling (left)

Lai Hsiang-ling (left) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese legislator on Monday (May 24) demanded transparency regarding the country’s low COVID-19 vaccination rate as well as its sluggish pace of vaccine purchases, UDN reported.

Taiwan People's Party Legislator Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) mentioned that at a virtual G20 summit on May 21, it was announced that the Digital Green Certificate would be launched in the EU in July to facilitate free and safe movement during the pandemic. The certificate will serve as either proof of vaccination, negative COVID test result, or recovery from the disease.

UDN cited Lai as saying, “Taiwan, hailed as a country excelling in the prevention of COVID-19 for over a year, is now struggling to come up with enough vaccines for its people.”

According to the BBC’s May 21 statistics, 1.59 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally, which translates to a 20.4 percent worldwide vaccination rate, the lawmaker said. However, even if the newly arrived 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca jabs are administered in Taiwan by next month, the inoculation rate in the country will still only be 3.5 percent, Lai added.

She said that although the Legislative Yuan last month set up a panel headed by ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) to investigate the country’s vaccine purchases, the panel has yet to hold any meetings.

Noting that the committee will adjourn in a week, Lai questioned why the ruling party’s lawmakers are not eager to find out about what has happened in the vaccine purchasing process, including contracts, arrival schedules, quantities purchased, and whether the terms of the deals have been fulfilled. The lawmaker went on to say that what she demanded was transparency.

Updated : 2021-06-19 12:17 GMT+08:00