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Taiwan COVID-19 vaccines could enter mass-production in July: minister

ROC Central News Agency

03/05/2021 02:25 PM

Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Taiwan's domestically developed COVID-19 vaccines could start mass production in July, but only if they successfully complete ongoing clinical trials, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (ι™³ζ™‚δΈ­) said Friday.

Speaking to reporters before a legislative hearing in Taipei, Chen said Taiwanese-made vaccines could hopefully enter production in July at the earliest.

Taiwan is currently making progress in its vaccine development, with Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. and United Biomedical approved to enter the second phase of clinical trials in late December and January, respectively.

Asked whether President Tsai Ing-wen (θ”‘θ‹±ζ–‡), Premier Su Tseng-chang (θ˜‡θ²žζ˜Œ) and Chen will be among the first to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Chen said if there is public hesitancy they are willing to volunteer in order to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine to those concerned about its reported side-effects.

However, Chen reiterated his hope that the vaccination program will proceed in accordance with the published priority list.

The minister's comments came after 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, purchased directly from the company, arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday.

(By Kuo Chien-shen and Ko Lin)

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