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Taiwan's vaccine import policy to loosen up

Government attitude on vaccine imports has shifted

Presidential Office Spokesperson Chang Tun-Han (Facebook, Presidential Office photo)

Presidential Office Spokesperson Chang Tun-Han (Facebook, Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Presidential Office stated Sunday (May 30) that the government is willing to work with local companies on importing vaccines.

Based on the recent backlash against the government’s policy of turning down help offered by private companies offering to import vaccines, the Presidential Office made an official statement Sunday (May 30) to clarify that they are willing to work with local governments and private businesses and thankful for the assistance.

Presidential Office Spokesperson Chang Tun-han (張惇涵) said on Facebook that the government has been working on speeding up the process of importing vaccines. “We expect to stabilize the supply of the vaccines by working with the private sector,” said Chang.

The policy change marks an about-face for the central government, which had previously opposed such strategies. New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) and TV host Chang Hsiao-yen (張小燕) were among those who publicly urged that the restrictions be lifted before it’s too late.

“Save lives! Everyone is our family. Taiwanese lives also matter. Please don’t make the situation tougher, just give us vaccines!” said the famous host.

“There’s no such thing as ‘the government is making the vaccine hard to get,’” the spokesman emphasized, adding that the responsibility for the whole nation’s health is on the government’s shoulders.

Chang Tun-han explained that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) have asked the Central Epidemic Command Center to provide full support for the new policy. The government will provide necessary assistance regarding contracts, delivery, and distribution, as well as other matters, the spokesperson added.

Updated : 2021-06-22 16:45 GMT+08:00