Taiwan begins administering homegrown Covid-19 vaccine


ANKARA, Aug 23 — Taiwan on Monday started administering its first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine with President Tsai Ing-wen getting the first shot, Anadolu Agency reported.

“Today I got my first shot of Taiwan’s own Medigen vaccine. Thank you to all our medical workers for making this such a smooth & painless process,” she said in a tweet after receiving the jab on a live Facebook stream.

“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible — vaccines protect you and those around you from COVID-19.”

The vaccine has been manufactured by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. and United Biomedical. The Health Ministry authorised its emergency use last month, although clinical trials are yet to be completed.

Taiwan has administered Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines secured directly from the companies and also through COVAX, a global facility that aims to provide equitable access to vaccines worldwide. Over 10.1 million doses have been given.

With six new COVID-19 infections, the overall caseload in the island nation has reached 15,932, including 828 related deaths.

The Central Epidemic Command Centre said it has formulated “strengthened COVID-19 surveillance programmes” to reduce the risk of the Delta variant entering communities in Taiwan.

The new initiative includes the distribution of government-funded COVID-19 home test kits and monitoring the health of certain high-risk personnel at international airports.