TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In anticipation of a large shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses set to arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday (July 7), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) on Monday (July 5) called on the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to open up vaccinations to the general population.
At 1:49 p.m. on Monday, Wang on his Facebook page announced that over half a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine purchased from Thailand would be delivered to Taiwan on Wednesday. He pointed out that on June 28, AstraZeneca had announced that production problems had impacted its supply to Southeast Asia, including Taiwan, and would resume shipments in early July.
He asserted that this again proved it was not that Taiwan had failed to purchase vaccines, but rather a global supply problem. There had been disruptions in shipments of vaccines from the European Union to Southeast Asia, wrote Wang.
Wang stated that through diplomatic channels, Taiwan had obtained nearly 5 million doses from the U.S. and Japan. He said that these combined with 1 million doses donated by Japan, already bring the number of vaccine doses obtained by Taiwan to 6.85 million, with many more on the way in the near future.
The legislator asserted the number of doses is no longer a problem. Wang wrote that once necessary doses for epidemic prevention have been obtained, the CECC should put an end to the distribution of vaccines based on occupation and age.
Wang urged the CECC to let clinics open up for mass inoculations. He wrote that the CECC should go ahead and open up registration for vaccinations to all the people of Taiwan to increase the immunization coverage percentage for the country as soon as possible.
Although initial reports had stated that 580,000 doses of the AstraZeneca jab were to be shipped from Thailand to Taiwan this week, Liberty Times on Monday afternoon reported that the actual amount is 620,000 doses. These doses are to be carried on China Airlines Flight CI-834, which will take off from Bangkok, Thailand, at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and arrive at Taoyuan International Airport at 3:40 p.m.