TAIPEI（Taiwan News）— The American Institute in Taiwan ( AIT) announced Friday (June 4) that the U.S.' forthcoming vaccine aid will go to the most at-risk groups in Taiwan.
The White House announced Thursday (June 3) that Taiwan would be among the recipients of the 7 million coronavirus vaccine doses soon to be shared with the Asia-Pacific region. The island nation has been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak since last month and declared a nationwide Level 3 alert on May 19.
AIT praised Taiwan’s timely support, which included face masks and other emergency supplies, during the early days of the U.S.' pandemic crisis. The office added that it was pleased to see Washington had prioritized Taiwan on the distribution list.
The U.S is planning to share over 80 million vaccine doses with those in need, and the 7 million for the Asia Pacific are part of an initial batch of 25 million to be distributed worldwide. Further details about vaccine deliveries are pending, AIT said.
The de facto embassy noted the severe vaccine shortage amid a surge of cases in the Asia Pacific. It claimed the donation will help Taiwan protect its "most vulnerable populations."
The institute also mentioned the 1.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines that Japan donated to the country Friday (June 4) and lauded the history of cooperation between Taiwan, Japan, and the U.S. as "a proud tradition of helping each other during crises, from Hurricane Katrina to Typhoon Morakot to the 2011 Triple Disasters in Japan."
CNA reported on Friday that the vaccine assistance from Japan was the result of a collaborative effort between the three countries.
A preliminary agreement was reached among Charge d'affaires ad interim Joseph Young from the U.S. Embassy in Japan, Taiwanese representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), and the former top aide to former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The three sides continued to work closely as the Taiwanese and Japanese governments negotiated with AstraZeneca to revise Japan's contract with the pharmaceutical, and 10 days later the plane landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with 1.2 million doses.