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Taiwan reports 1st imported breakthrough case vaccinated with China's Sinopharm

Breakthrough infection occurred in Taiwanese man vaccinated with Sinopharm earlier this year

Package containing Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine doses. (Reuters photo)

Package containing Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine doses. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan on Thursday (Aug. 26) reported its first case of a breakthrough infection from an imported COVID-19 case fully inoculated with China's Sinopharm (國藥集團) vaccine.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Thursday announced that among the six imported cases reported that day, No. 16,054 is a Taiwanese man in his 50s who had received two jabs of the Sinopharm vaccine. The man arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 12 and was promptly transported to an epidemic prevention hotel.

On Aug. 24, while still undergoing quarantine, he began to experience a sore throat and was taken to a hospital to be tested for the virus. On Aug. 26, he was diagnosed with COVID-19 with a Ct value of 29.

According to the CECC, the man had received his first Sinopharm dose on April 24 and the second on May 21. When asked to comment on the case at Thursday's press conference, Philip Lo (羅一鈞), deputy head of the CECC’s medical response division, said this is the first breakthrough infection in Taiwan involving a person fully vaccinated with Sinopharm since CECC officials began questioning arrivals from China about their vaccinations in July.

Based on the patient's Ct value, the date of onset, and COVID's incubation period, Lo said that the center believes he contracted the virus shortly before his flight to Taiwan. The health department has not listed any contacts in his case because he has been in quarantine throughout his stay in the country and has not come in direct contact with any other people.

All three major Chinese vaccine-makers — Sinopharm, Sinovac, and CanSino Biologics — have been criticized for pushing their products onto the market without publishing comprehensive results of phase 3 clinical trials, prompting even the former chief of the China Food and Drug Administration, Bi Jingquan, to call for the companies to provide more data and transparency, according to SCMP.

Many would-be recipients of the Sinopharm shots are fearful of its 73 adverse reactions. Shanghai-based vaccine expert Tao Lina (陶黎納) described Sinopharm as the "most unsafe vaccine in the world."

Updated : 2021-09-27 03:15 GMT+08:00