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Johnson & Johnson will not sell COVID vaccines to Taiwan Buddhist group

US pharmaceutical group will only deal with governments

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Johnson & Johnson says it only deals directly with governments and supranational groups like the EU 

Johnson & Johnson says it only deals directly with governments and supranational groups like the EU  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — United States pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson will not sell 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines to the Buddha Light International Association (BLIA) because it only deals with governments and supranational organizations, reports said Wednesday (June 2).

Private groups in Taiwan, including Foxconn Technology Group founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), have been trying to import vaccines separately from the government, though they still need its approval.

After having been approached by the Buddhist group, Johnson & Johnson said it would not directly supply vaccines to third parties, only through governments and bodies like the European Union.

As a result, the Taiwanese government’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said it had already talked to the BLIA twice and would provide the necessary assistance, CNA reported.

The association said it would file the required paperwork with the government in order to obtain permission to import vaccines. It would then hand over the shots to the authorities to have them administered to the public.

BLIA members had expressed interest in providing the funds needed to buy the shots. However, otherwise, the group said it would follow official procedures.