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Chen says WHO trials for Taiwan's Medigen key to recognition

Chen says if Medigen passes Phase III, probability of WHO approval 'very high'

Medigen vaccine packaging. (Medigen photo)

Medigen vaccine packaging. (Medigen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The head of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday (Oct. 27) said that the inclusion of Taiwan's domestic COVID-19 vaccine developed by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (高端疫苗, MVC) in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Phase III trials is key to the jab's official recognition.

On Tuesday, the WHO announced that it will include Medigen in the organization's Solidarity trial after having selected it from a field of 20 candidates. The Phase III trials for the vaccine will be operated by the health ministries of the Philippines, Colombia, and Mali.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, a reporter asked if after the WHO clinical trials on Medigen are completed, would the vaccine receive an emergency use listing (EUL). Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) responded by saying that first of all, the fact that Medigen was among only two vaccines chosen out of a field of 20, demonstrates that it is an "excellent vaccine and a vaccine with potential for development."

Secondly, Chen said that the WHO will be sponsoring the Phase III trials, covering all the expenses incurred by the research in the three countries participating. Third, the CECC head said that if the results for Medigen are found to be favorable after the trials are completed, "the probability that it becomes a WHO-approved vaccine is very high."

Chen said that if this occurs, the vaccine can either have its emergency use authorization EUA extended by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or get full approval. He emphasized that the next steps will depend on the scientific data derived from the study.

Importantly, for Taiwanese vaccinated with Medigen and wishing to travel to the U.S. and other countries imposing vaccine requirements, they will have an easier time clearing border checkpoints having been immunized with a jab recognized by the WHO.

Updated : 2021-12-04 19:19 GMT+08:00