TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan is unlikely to export its locally made Medigen Vaccine Biologics vaccine in the near future, despite reports Saturday (Aug. 28) that diplomatic ally Belize is interested.
The island nation only recently began administering the Medigen COVID jabs, with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) the first recipient on Aug. 23. According to media reports, Belize’s Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat contacted the Taiwan ambassador to conduct a “preliminary discussion.”
At a news conference Saturday, Central Epidemic Command Center chief Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said that as long as there were Taiwanese who needed COVID shots, he would not consider exporting vaccine doses. He acknowledged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) had contacted him, though he was not clear which countries planned to buy Medigen vaccines, CNA reported.
According to Chen, Taiwan should only sell vaccines to other countries if it has excess doses. Taiwan’s vaccination coverage rate only recently reached 41% for one shot, and it is still looking to import doses from overseas.