Taiwan approves emergency use of BioNTech vaccine offered by Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma
Published: Aug 04, 2021 07:43 PM

The COVID19 vaccine BNT162b2 co-developed by Fosun Pharma and BioNTech  Photo: Courtesy of BioNTech

The COVID19 vaccine BNT162b2 co-developed by Fosun Pharma and BioNTech Photo: Courtesy of BioNTech

The island of Taiwan approved the emergency use of the BioNTech-Fosun COVID-19 mRNA vaccine on Tuesday for people over 12, the Global Times learned on Wednesday. 

A few procurement deals have been made so far between the vaccine sales agent Fosun Pharma and several institutions in Taiwan on behalf of the local authority, to provide overall 15 million doses to the island to cope with its resurgent epidemic. 

Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma has signed a deal on July 11 with Taiwan-based Foxconn, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and a medical firm to sell 10 million COVID-19 mRNA vaccine shots to Taiwan island.

The vaccines are donated to Taiwan's medical institutions by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (known as Foxconn whose founder is Terry Gou), TSMC and Zuellig Pharma for public mass vaccination.

A major Taiwanese Buddhist group, the Tzu Chi Foundation, signed a deal on July 21 to buy 5 million more doses of BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine via Fosun which has the exclusive sales right to the BioNTech vaccine in China, bumping the island's order up to 15 million doses.

"The mainland did not meddle or interfere in the vaccine procurement process, and we thank it for allowing the procurement to be conducted through commercial negotiations," Terry Gou said after the procurement achieved.

The signing of the vaccine purchase deal proved that previous rumors of the mainland preventing the island of Taiwan from accessing vaccines are unfounded, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said on July 12.

Vaccine shortages have been a serious difficulty in the island amid a new outbreak. The plight of residents rushing to scramble for leftover COVID-19 vaccines in the island of Taiwan, due to scarce doses amid the still-rampant coronavirus outbreak, brought a new round of public lambasting against Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority for putting political interests above public health protection.