TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan is holding talks with British drug maker AstraZeneca to send surplus COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, reports said Saturday (May 29).
There is a no-transfer clause in the vaccine contract that Tokyo wants to alter so it can help Taiwan, according to a Nikkei Asia report. Taiwan is battling a surge in local coronavirus cases
The aim of the clause was to prevent governments from making under-the-table deals and sell vaccines to other countries, CNA reported. Japan has bought 240 million vaccine doses from Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna, sufficient to vaccinate all citizens over the age of 16, with another contract for 120 million doses from AstraZeneca.
Taiwan’s representative in Tokyo, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), expressed his gratitude to Japan in an interview with the publication Yukan Fuji. He reportedly compared the vaccine offer to rain bringing relief during a drought.