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Homeland Security

Taiwan's bid to procure Novavax vaccine uncertain

ROC Central News Agency

06/28/2021 08:22 PM

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) Taiwan has made inquiries with American biotechnology company Novavax about vaccine procurement but whether it can secure the vaccine quickly enough is uncertain, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said Monday.

At a regular press conference, Chen said that as early as last year, the ministry contacted several new vaccine manufacturers whose vaccines had entered Phase 2 clinical trials and showed promising results at that time, including Novavax.

Novavax told Taiwan that it has joined the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, to which it will prioritize supply once production starts, Chen said.

The Maryland-based biotech firm suggested that Taiwan should procure its vaccine through COVAX as a two-way deal would result in delays in Taiwan obtaining the vaccine, Chen added.

According to Chen, Taiwan has made a request for about 2 million Novavax vaccine doses to COVAX, but is not sure when or whether those will be delivered as COVAX deliveries have all but halted at present.

The Novavax vaccine caught the attention of many countries recently after it released Phase 3 clinical trial results showing 90.4 percent overall efficacy.

The company is expected to apply for Emergency Use Authorization in the United States in the third quarter, according to foreign media reports.

(By Chen Chie-ling, Chiang Hui-chun and Emerson Lim)

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