The US sent 2.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan on Sunday, tripling an earlier pledge in a donation with both public health and geopolitical meaning.

The shipment arrived on a China Airlines cargo plane that had left Memphis the previous day. Health minister Chen Shih-chung and Brent Christensen, the top US official in Taiwan, were among those who welcomed the plane on the tarmac at the airport outside of the capital, Taipei.

Chen said that America was showing its friendship as Taiwan faces its most severe outbreak. “When I saw these vaccines coming down the plane, I was really touched,” he said over the noise inside a building where the boxes of vaccines, some with US flags on them, had been brought on wheeled dollies.

Taiwan, which had been relatively unscathed by the virus, has been caught off guard by a surge in new cases since May and is now scrambling to get vaccines. The COVID-19 death toll on the island of 24 million people has jumped to 549, from only about a dozen prior to the outbreak.

The US donation also signals its support for Taiwan in the face of growing pressure from China, which claims the self-governing island off its east coast as its territory. The US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan under what is known as the one-China policy, but is legally bound by its own laws to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself.

“These vaccines are proof of America’s commitment to Taiwan,” said Christensen, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US Embassy. “Taiwan is a family member to the world’s democratic countries.”

The US promised 750,000 vaccine doses for Taiwan earlier this month, sending Sen. Tammy Duckworth and two of her Senate colleagues to the island aboard a military transport plane to make the announcement. Taiwan has ordered 5.05 million doses directly from Moderna but so far received only 390,000, including a second shipment that arrived Friday.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the US had decided to increase the donation through efforts on both sides over the past two weeks.

In a Facebook post, Tsai joined the US in drawing attention to their shared democratic systems. China, which has been ruled single-handedly by the Communist Party since 1949, says Taiwan must eventually come under its control and reserves the right to use force if necessary.

“Whether it is for regional peace and stability or the virus that is a common human adversary, we will continue to uphold common ideas and work together,” Tsai wrote in Chinese.

She has accused China of blocking Taiwan from getting the Pfiser vaccine through BioNTech, the German co-developer. Chinese officials have repeatedly denied the charge, and say China is willing to provide vaccines to Taiwan. Taiwanese law, however, bans the import of Chinese-made medicine.

The US donation follows Japan’s shipment of 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in early June. Taiwan has ordered 10 million doses from AstraZeneca but has yet to receive most of them.

The outbreak, which has eased somewhat, has spurred the government to try to expand testing and vaccination. Health authorities on Sunday reported 107 new locally spread cases, the lowest in more than two months.

Category: Taiwan


Similar articles:

  1. Vietnam to prioritize inoculating certain groups after receiving 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines []
  2. HK to shorten quarantine for most arrivals to 7 days []
  3. Taipei opens up vaccination appointments for those over 75 years old []
  4. Korea’s SK bioscience to invest $132 million to boost vaccine production []
  5. Over 13.72 lakh people vaccinated against COVID in Andhra Pradesh []
  6. Vaccine supply a focus at National Cabinet []
  7. US hitting encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots []
  8. Biden to miss major COVID-19 goals: 70% vaccinated, 80M shipped doses []
  9. CDC panel criticized for postponed meeting on COVID-19 vaccines, rare heart issues []
  10. 70% Of Philadelphia Adults Have Received At Least 1 Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine []
  11. South Africa To Host Covid Vaccine Tech Transfer Hub []
  12. Covid: Vaccines running out in poorer nations, WHO says []
  13. Covid vaccine: Margaret Keenan reflects receiving world’s first jab []
  14. Latest On Coronavirus []
  15. US directs millions of COVID-19 shots to Asia, Latin America, Africa []
  16. Sputnik V ipinaparehistro sa FDA bilang single-dose vaccine []
  17. India to have 257 crore vaccine doses by December: Nadda []
  18. Delhi vaccination in 16 months at Centre’s vax supply rate: Sisodia []
  19. Not all who don’t want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 are anti-vaxxers, and why listening is the best way to get them to do so []
  20. Sydney urged to take COVID-19 outbreak seriously as restrictions set to be extended []
  21. A ‘complete refresh’ for Australia’s vaccine rollout []
  22. Get Vaccinated at Busch Stadium and Get Free Cardinals Tickets []
  23. Work over placing National Maternity Hospital site in full State ownership ‘ongoing’ []
  24. US hitting encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots []
  25. Brazil Passes Half a Million COVID-19 Deaths, Averaging 2,000 a Day []
  26. Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit Chicago on Wednesday as part of national vaccination tour []
  27. Massachusetts reports new low for coronavirus hospitalizations, U.S. death and case averages drop to milestone []
  28. Doctors Without Borders Calls on BioNTech to Share Vaccine Tech With World []
  29. US Announces Plan To Allocate 55 Million Covid Vaccine Doses []
  30. WHO to set up mRNA COVID vaccine hub in South Africa []
  31. U.S. directs millions of COVID-19 shots to Latin America, Africa, Asia []
  32. Covid vaccine: Margaret Keenan reflects receiving world’s first jab []
  33. Allocate funds to make low-income earners access health insurance []
  34. White House lays out plan to share 55mn Covid shots globally []
  35. Media reports about vaccine hesitancy could contribute to the problem []
  36. India hits new record in daily vaccination jabs []
  37. Choice of Covid vaccines on offer across country []
  38. 222 no shows for second Covid-19 jab []
  39. WHO supporting South African consortium to establish first COVID mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub []
  40. More data sought on disparities in mental health care in Mass. []
  41. Vaccine Cards Have Now Gone Digital, Here’s How To Use Them []
  42. Bulgaria: Children over 12, Can Be Vaccinated with Pfizer Vaccine []
  43. US hitting encouraging milestones on virus deaths and shots []
  44. Does the COVID vaccine cause infertility in men? Study shows mRNA vaccines do not decrease sperm count. | []
  45. Vaccine technology transfer center to open in South Africa []
  46. Philly hits 70% partially vaxxed, higher than other cities — despite health department setbacks []
  47. Mass. reports 4,095,494 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 []
  48. Cases Of ‘More Transmissible’ Delta COVID-19 Variant Increasing In Tri-State Area []
  49. Covid vaccine: Margaret Keenan reflects receiving world’s first jab []

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *