TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will receive a COVID-19 shot made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (MVC) in a show of support for domestic vaccines amid a procurement controversy and efficacy concerns.
Tsai said in a Facebook post on Wednesday (July 28) that she has signed up to be inoculated against the coronavirus with the Medigen vaccine, and she vouched for the “safety and efficacy” of the jab.
Medigen's vaccine was on Tuesday (July 27) added to the available options on the country’s COVID immunization registration system, but the homegrown vaccine is currently only approved for adults aged 20 and up. It was granted emergency use authorization on July 17 following an efficacy assessment.
Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) is likely to receive a jab by United Biomedical Inc. (UBI), another indigenous vaccine developer, reported CNA. The vaccine, which is claimed to be effective against the highly transmissible Delta variant, has yet to be given the green light for emergency use.
The health authorities have procured 5 million doses each from MVC and UBI, though the exact timing of their rollout is still unclear.
There has been a lot of contention about the two homegrown vaccines. The Tsai administration has been accused of lining the companies’ pockets by throwing its weight behind the jabs’ development, and it has yet to be determined when or whether the vaccines will be certified internationally.
The opposition KMT party alleges that the government is peddling the vaccines to Taiwan’s allies, a claim that has been rebutted by the foreign ministry.