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Lithuania to donate 235,900 more doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan

Taiwan lauds Lithuania PM's 'walk the talk approach to vaccine equity and solidarity'

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte (left) and President Gitanas Nauseda. (Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte (left) and President Gitanas Nauseda. (Taiwan News, Yuwen Lin image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuania on Wednesday (Sept. 22) announced that it will donate 235,900 additional AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, the second time the Baltic nation has sent jabs since ties between the two nations have been enhanced.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Lithuanian government announced that in response to a request from Taiwan, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania has been directed to provide 235,900 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, sold in Europe under the brand name Vaxzevria, to Taiwan by Oct. 15. Lithuania donated 20,000 doses to Taiwan in July.

According to Lithuania's Ministry of Health, Taiwan's representative office in neighboring Latvia had placed the request for the doses on Sept. 16. In response to the news of Lithuania's approval of the latest shipment, Taiwan's representative office in Latvia on Facebook expressed "heartfelt gratitude" on behalf of the Taiwanese people and asserted that the latest donation again shows Lithuania's "dedicated support for fellow democracies in need like Taiwan."

That same evening, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took to Twitter to thank Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, her government, and the Lithuanian people for their continued support. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter also thanked Lithuania's health and foreign ministries for the donation and wrote that Prime Minister Simonyte is "leading by example with her walk the talk approach to vaccine equity & solidarity."

Relations between Taiwan and Lithuania have become substantially closer in recent months, with Lithuania announcing in July that it will open a trade office in Taipei in the fall and Taiwan declaring it will open a representative office in Vilnius by the end of the year. In addition, the Taiwan de facto embassy in Vilnius will be dubbed the "Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania," making it the first such office in Europe to have "Taiwan" in its name.