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Philippines denies report it intends to buy COVID vaccines from Taiwan

Two Taiwanese vaccines have completed phase II trials

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech on June 12, 2021, at the Provincial Capitol of Bulacan province, Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech on June 12, 2021, at the Provincial Capitol of Bulacan province, Philippines. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Philippines has rebutted media reports that it is seeking to procure jabs of Taiwan’s home-grown COVID-19 vaccines.

Philippine presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has denied a Taiwanese report that the Southeast Asian country had written a letter to the government of Taiwan about vaccine procurement, wrote ABC-CBN.

Mirror Media suggested that the Philippines is considering securing Taiwan-developed COVID vaccines after the products get emergency use authorization (EUA). Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are also eyeing Taiwan-made jabs, the report claimed.

The report has been criticized for being misleading, and Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center has demanded that it be corrected, said Xavier Chang (張惇涵), spokesperson for the Presidential Office.

While the Presidential Office dismissed the report of the Philippines’ vaccine request as erroneous, it declined to comment on the suggestion that Taiwanese vaccine makers are seeking collaboration with other countries for third-phase trials, CNA quoted Chang as saying.

Local manufacturers Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (MVC) and United Biomedical. Inc. (UBI) have completed phase II clinical trials. Trial results published by MVC last week indicate a 99.8 percent seroconversion rate, which reflects the chances of generating an immune reaction to the coronavirus.

The Taiwanese authorities have sealed deals for 5 million vaccines with each of the two companies. The domestic doses are expected to be rolled out starting next month.


Updated : 2021-07-30 04:50 GMT+08:00