Taiwan rejects COVID-19 vaccine option; opts to try and create domestic one

Taiwan has a low number of COVID cases, and about 40% of people living in the country have received at least one vaccine dose.

Updated: August 16, 2021 - 6:03pm

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Taiwan on Monday rejected an application for the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate from UBI Pharma, in hopes of soon using a domestic shot instead.

The country, which has ordered Moderna and AstraZeneca shots before, beginning next week intends to use a local vaccine made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics, according to Reuters.

Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said the request was rejected because of the antibodies created by UBI’s vaccine candidate were not the same as those from AstraZeneca.

"We still have to follow certain standards," he told reporters.

Taiwan is not under pressure to administer an accelerated vaccination process, since the cases are low and about 40% of people living in the country have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.