Moderna to supply 5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan

Taipei-American pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. said Tuesday it has entered into an agreement with the Taiwan government for the supply of 5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Although the Moderna vaccine has not yet been approved for use in Taiwan, the company said, it will work with regulators to pursue the necessary approval prior to distribution.

In a statement, Moderna also said it has agreed to supply 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Colombia and that the deliveries to both governments will begin in mid-2021.

“We thank the governments of both Taiwan and Colombia for partnering with us to bring the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna to Taiwan and Colombia,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in the statement. “Both governments have moved quickly to get this done in the face of the pandemic and we appreciate their collaboration.”

The agreement with Moderna was confirmed Wednesday by Taiwan’s Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???), who heads the country’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

“We have already signed the agreement,” and the vaccines are likely to arrive beginning in the second quarter of 2021, Chen said.

The CECC had said earlier that it was in talks with an international pharmaceutical company for 5 million doses of the vaccine, but it did not name the firm or give any other details of the discussions.

In December 2020, the CECC said it had ordered some 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, including 4.76 million through the international COVAX allocation program and 10 million of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University in the United Kingdom and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

The Moderna vaccine the CECC has secured was found to be about 95 percent effective at preventing coronavirus infections in third-phase clinical trials, and it has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the vaccination of individuals 18 years of age and over, according to a Washington Post report in December.

In its statement Tuesday, Moderna said it has also received authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine from health agencies in Canada, Israel, the European Union, the U.K, Switzerland and Singapore, and authorizations are currently under review in other countries and by the World Health Organization.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel