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Taiwan applies to produce Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Nation works to address vaccine shortage by importing production technologies

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A medical worker fills a syringe with Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Tokyo.

A medical worker fills a syringe with Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Tokyo. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s health authorities said on Friday (June 11) the country is working to secure the right to produce COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna.

Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Taiwan has tendered a request to make the vaccines of the American pharmaceutical company via contract manufacturing. He made the remarks during a legislative interpellation.

The head of the Central Epidemic Command Center said earlier this week that Taiwan has made headway in mRNA technologies, paving the way for it to enter the global market of such vaccine production through contract manufacturing or licensed agreements. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID jabs are produced using this innovative approach.

A successful collaboration could see the country’s industry players make Moderna doses in numbers that not only meet domestic demand but would also supply the export market, Liberty Times quoted Chen as saying. The health official revealed that a proposed deal with AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational that manufactures adenovirus-vectored COVID vaccines, failed to materialize last year.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told Nikkei Asia in a May interview the company is looking to make its coronavirus vaccines in Asian countries, including Japan. Meanwhile, South Korea's Samsung Biologics announced last month it is fast-tracking plans to churn out Moderna’s COVID vaccine in the second half of the year, reported The Korea Herald.


Updated : 2021-06-22 04:10 GMT+08:00