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550,000 BioNTech jabs labeled for Taiwan to arrive Thursday

First wave of 1.4 million Pfizer-BioNTech shots labeled for Taiwan to arrive on Sept. 30

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Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vial. (Reuters photo)

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine vial. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Foxconn founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) on Monday (Sept. 27) announced that 550,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine labeled for Taiwan will arrive in the country on Thursday (Sept. 30).

In a Facebook post released Monday morning, Gou announced that 1.4 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine have been produced and labeled according to Taiwan's requirements. Gou said these newly produced doses will arrive in three waves, with the first batch of 550,000 entering the country Thursday.

He said that the first batch was originally scheduled to arrive right after the Mid-Autumn Festival. However, due to Luxair flights being fully booked and a backlog of orders in the factory warehouse, the flight was delayed by a week.

After coordination among multiple parties, Gou said the first shipment is now set to arrive Thursday. Gou said that all the work teams have handled the customized label very carefully, and he apologized to the public for the delay.

Gou said that this wave of BioNTech with customized labels will include 1.4 million doses shipped in three batches. He did not provide a timeline for the other two shipments but said their arrival is dependent on availability through logistics networks.

In July, Foxconn’s YongLin Foundation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and the Tzu Chi Foundation inked an agreement with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group to purchase 15 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine. Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) originally required the shots to omit Fosun Pharma and the brand name Comirnaty from the labels, but it accepted a batch with the original labeling after the Chinese government failed to approve the BioNTech vaccine.

The first batch of 933,000 BioNTech doses containing the Fosun Pharma labels arrived on Sept. 2. The batch due to arrive on Thursday will be the first to have labeling that fits Taiwan's requirements.