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On Saturday, the Taiwanese government granted emergency authorization for use of AstraZeneca’s and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, with inoculations expected to start in the next fortnight, Reuters reported.
Assuming the paperwork is in order, the first shots will be distributed within a week of arrival, Food and Drug Administration Director-General Wu Shou-mei told reporters.
Taiwan announced in December it had bought almost 20 million vaccine doses, including 10 million from AstraZeneca and 4.76 million doses from the COVAX global vaccine programme.
The first batch of 200,000 AstraZeneca vaccines provided by COVAX could begin arriving next week, Reuters reported.
The process for granting it emergency-use approval for an additional 5 million doses ordered from US drugmaker Moderna Inc is in full swing, Wu told the newswire.
Taiwan has a population of 23,843,979, and aims to get 30 million vaccine doses to cover about 65% of the island’s population, prioritising frontline health and quarantine workers first, the report said.
The approval will be welcome news for many after Taiwan complained that a vaccine deal with BioNTech had been blocked by ‘external forces’ in December, according to CNN.
Germany’s BioNTech SE said: “BioNTech is committed to help bringing an end to the pandemic for people across the world and we intend to supply Taiwan with our vaccine as part of this global commitment,” the company said in a statement said.
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Originally published at https://www.businessinsider.com/taiwan-authorizes-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-jabs-starting-in-fortnight-2021-2 on .