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Homeland Security

Second batch of BNT vaccine arrives in Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

09/09/2021 12:14 PM

Taipei, Sept. 9 (CNA) The second batch of some 910,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Taiwan early Thursday, after the delivery of the first batch of some 930,000 doses last week.

After the shipment on board a Cargolux Airlines International freight landed and cleared the customs at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the vaccines were sent to a designated cold chain warehouse for storage and inspection before they will be released and administered to the public.

On Sept. 2, the first batch was delivered, but the 933,660 doses were labeled in simplified Chinese and bore the name Comirnaty, the new name under which the vaccine is being marketed since it obtained approval from the American Food and Drug Administration on Aug. 23.

The two shipments are part of a total of 15 million doses of BNT vaccines purchased in July by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.'s Yonglin Charity and Education Foundation, along with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, from Germany-based BioNTech.

On a Sept. 6 Facebook post, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) said that a shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines with a tailor-made label in traditional Chinese is expected to arrive in Taiwan around Sept. 21.

After that, another 8 to 9 million doses of the brand will be delivered in weekly batches of 700,000-800,000 by the end of this year, Gou said.

The founder and former head of Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, had spearheaded non-government efforts to buy the BNT vaccine to address the shortage of vaccines in Taiwan and to overcome the dispute between the Chinese and Taiwanese governments over the difficulties Taiwan's officials encountered in trying to buy the vaccine from the manufacturer instead of the designated Shanghai-based distributor for the region.

The BNT vaccines are expected to be administered beginning on Sept. 23, first to junior and senior high school students between the ages of 12 to 17 and then young adults aged 18-22.

(By Flor Wang and Wu Jui-chi)

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