TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou's (郭台銘) plan to import doses of the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine directly from Germany is moving forward, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Tuesday (June 15).
The tycoon wants to acquire 5 million doses, but his project has met with obstacles, including the vaccine maker's refusal to deal with non-governmental groups and claims by China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical that it holds the distribution rights of the BioNTech vaccine for Taiwan.
On Tuesday, media reports suggested Gou’s Yonglin Foundation and Foxconn had received the necessary special import permit from Taiwan’s government, FTV reported. A foundation spokeswoman told reporters Yonglin is in the process of finding out whether the document has indeed been received.
Responding to the reports, CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that after supplying a conditional import permit, the next step is to discuss legal documents.
The project is an example of cooperation between government and private groups, he said, adding that because the international supply of vaccines is limited at the moment, it is difficult to predict the timing of delivery.
Chen said the key factor is still the dealership authorization document from the vaccine manufacturer, which was missing from the original filing by the Yonglin Foundation. The item is necessary to ascertain the authenticity of any imported vaccines.