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Homeland Security

Taiwan to join COVAX to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines

ROC Central News Agency

09/12/2020 08:51 PM

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) Taiwan will sign up to the COVAX global vaccine allocation plan to ensure the country has access to a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes readily available, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Euro Asia 2020 conference in Taipei, Chen said the agreement will help ensure Taiwan receives fair and equitable access to any eventual COVID-19 vaccine.

The government has engaged lawyers to hold talks with relevant parties involved in the project, he said, adding that Taiwan's research of its own vaccine is also going well.

In the past, vaccines have usually taken about 10 years to develop, but due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said researchers around the world are now rushing to come up with a vaccine in about a year.

If there is a need, a vaccine could receive an emergency authorization, although safety must still be observed in the long run, the health minister said.

COVAX is co-led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin)


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