Massive Vaccine Shortage In Taiwan: Foxconn Founder Terry Gou and TSMC Strike 'Vaccine Deals’ With BioNTech To Procure 10 Million Doses

Massive Vaccine Shortage In Taiwan: Foxconn Founder Terry Gou and TSMC Strike 'Vaccine Deals’ With BioNTech To Procure 10 Million Doses
Taipei City, Taiwan (image from Unsplash)
Snapshot
  • Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Taiwan’s Foxconn, and chip manufacturing behemoth TSMC reached initial agreements to each buy 5 million doses of BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine

    Delays in the regional production of AstraZeneca vaccines, pressure from China, and domestic political bickering together have combined to significantly delay Taipei’s campaign to purchase enough vaccines to inoculate twenty-three million Taiwanese.

    Just 7 percent of the population vaccinated to date,

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Taiwan’s Foxconn, and chip manufacturing behemoth TSMC reached initial agreements to each buy 5 million doses of BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Reuters reported quoting sources with knowledge of the situation.

According to the Reuters report, Gou and TSMC reached the agreements with a subsidiary of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, which has a contract with BioNTech to sell the COVID-19 vaccines.

Gou had contested as the candidate of Kuomintang party (KMT),Taiwan’s main opposition party, during the last presidential election. He has close ties to China.

The purchase by private companies potentially provides a way of Taiwanese government to escape the wrath of Chinese government.

Taiwan’s government has tried for months to buy the shots directly from Germany’s BioNTech but with little success. Taiwan has accused China of scuttling its attempts to secure doses internationally.

Delays in the regional production of AstraZeneca vaccines, pressure from China, and domestic political bickering together have combined to significantly delay Taipei’s campaign to purchase enough vaccines to inoculate twenty-three million Taiwanese.

Taiwan's domestically-developed vaccines, they are expected to complete clinical trials only in July.

With just 7 percent of the population vaccinated to date, it is unlikely that Taiwan will reach its vaccination target of 50 percent of the population by year’s end.

Last month, China’s foreign ministry criticised Japan for its donation of 1.2m doses. As a goodwill gesture, Japan delivered to Taiwan 1.24m doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. The doses donated will serve a big boost to Taiwan's struggling vaccination drive.

U.S also announced that it would donate 750,000 doses of covid-19 vaccines to Taiwan.

China has offered Taiwan Chinese-made vaccines, but the government has repeatedly expressed concern about their safety, and in any case cannot import them without changing Taiwanese law, which bans their import.

Taiwanese leaders favour more autonomy for the island. Beijing continue to maintain a position that Taiwan is part of its own territory, and wants it to unify with the mainland.

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