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Taiwan in talks to produce Moderna COVID vaccines

National Health Research Institutes involved in project for domestic production

Taiwan is looking to produce Moderna COVID vaccines 

Taiwan is looking to produce Moderna COVID vaccines  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is conducting talks with Moderna, Inc. to produce the company's COVID-19 vaccine inside the country, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Tuesday (June 29).

However, he pointed out that issues such as production levels, technological hurdles, and vaccination manufacturers’ global strategies might still impact the progress of talks, CNA reported. If the talks bear fruit, Taiwan might produce 300-500 million doses within six to nine months.

Chen told reporters that the country would seize every opportunity to increase the supply of coronavirus vaccines but that not every attempt would be successful. According to the CECC, another issue was not only whether to set up factories in Taiwan but also whether the vaccines produced there could be exported to other countries.

In addition, officials said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is contacting overseas vaccine manufacturers to seek out possibilities for cooperation.

Taiwan’s domestic vaccine production strategy also includes having the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) expand its facilities to pave the way for vaccine manufacturing, according to a report by Mirror Media. The project would enable Taiwan to react rapidly to the emergence of new contagious diseases.

Moderna has been chosen as the ideal partner because others, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, have a complicated international background that might involve China, the report said.