Japan to offer Covid-19 vaccines to Taiwan

Tokyo, Jun 3 (EFE).- Japan said Thursday it would offer Taiwan Covid-19 vaccines from its supplies, in the face of the worst wave of infections the island has faced since the beginning of the pandemic.

This was announced by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who said Taiwan “has an urgent need to provide vaccines [to its population] until it can establish a domestic production system.”

“In times of difficulty we must help each other,” Motegi said of Taiwan, which sent emergency aid to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the northeast of the Japanese archipelago in 2011.

Taiwan detected 549 new coronavirus positives due to local contagion Wednesday night, in addition to 12 deaths, reflecting a significant rebound in infections.

The island was, until the outbreak of last month, one of the territories that had best managed the pandemic worldwide, largely because it imposed restrictions on the arrival of citizens from abroad shortly after the first outbreak was declared in Wuhan, China.

Taiwan has requested 20 million vaccines from suppliers such as Moderna or AstraZeneca and announced agreements Sunday with two local companies, Medigen and United Biomedical, to obtain another 10 million vials of their antigens, still in development, for which they will request authorization this month.

But so far it has only received about 700,000 of the 20 million vaccines requested and has been able to vaccinate 1 percent of its population.

China has offered to provide the island with the necessary doses to immunize its 24 million inhabitants, but the Taiwanese government has rejected it.

In the case of Japan, the country has notably accelerated its vaccination rate in recent days, and has agreements to purchase more than enough doses to cover its entire population.

Japan hosted a virtual global summit of the Gavi Covax AMC initiative Wednesday, in which some 40 countries and organizations pledged to provide funds and donate covid vaccines to promote a more equal distribution of these drugs around the world. EFE


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