- Title: Taiwan's president leads way in receiving first domestic COVID-19 vaccine
- Date: 23rd August 2021
- Summary: TAIPEI, TAIWAN (AUGUST 23, 2021) (REUTERS) TOP VIEW OF VACCINATION STATION AT NATIONAL TAIWAN SCIENCE EDUCATION CENTER VARIOUS OF MAN SEATED, THEN BEING INOCULATED PEOPLE RESTING AFTER INOCULATION (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 34-YEAR-OLD SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKER, NGUYEN THUY TRANG, SAYING: "Moreover, us young people have better physical strength, so we will go and get (the vaccine) of our own country so that we can help Taiwan regarding that vaccine. I can also say that I have a lot of confidence in the Taiwanese vaccine, so I waited until the Medigen vaccine came out, before I was willing to get inoculated." MEDICAL WORKER MOVING BETWEEN PATIENTS WITH CART VARIOUS OF MAN BEING INOCULATED WOMAN DOING EXERCISES WHILE OTHERS REST (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 30-YEAR-OLD BANK WORKER, WU MENG-RU, SAYING: "Because it (Medigen vaccine) had a small number of people in the experiment, I want to provide myself as a lab rat for them to test, this is my goal. Doesn't it (the vaccine) need to have a certain sample rate? This here is the sample rate right now. I think my body is pretty good because I practice dragon boat, I can be a lab rat." VARIOUS OF WOMAN BEING INOCULATED, WALKING AWAY, LOOKING AT PHONE HAND PRESSING DOWN ON BANDAGE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 27-YEAR-OLD MEDICAL WORKER, CHEN YU-HSUAN, SAYING: "Of course, I think that the Taiwan government may have not been very open and transparent with some information, and then what they've been saying may not have been easy for the public to understand, so people might think that the government is deceiving the people. I think because I have a medical background, I think it's probably not that serious." INOCULATION IN PROGRESS HSINCHU, TAIWAN (RECENT - AUGUST 10, 2021) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF MEDIGEN VACCINE FACTORY MEDIGEN COMPANY LOGO VARIOUS OF MEDIGEN PRODUCTION LINE TAIPEI, TAIWAN (RECENT - AUGUST 3, 2021) (REUTERS) CHARLES CHEN, CEO OF MEDIGEN VACCINE BIOLOGICS, SEATED AND TALKING CHEN HANDLING VACCINE SAMPLES (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CEO OF MEDIGEN VACCINE BIOLOGICS, CHARLES CHEN, SAYING: "From a safety perspective, there were more than 3,000 trial subjects, so there shouldn't beâ€¦ it is safe to say that there's no need to worry. Furthermore, we have done so many experiments, everyone has seen how safe our vaccine is. There are so few side effects, almost no fever, and so on. So I think everyone can rest assured regarding this aspect. Regarding the so-called protection or efficacy, in fact, science will prove everything." TAIPEI, TAIWAN (RECENT - AUGUST 17, 2021) (REUTERS) HO CHIH-YUNG SEATED AND TALKING HO HANDLING NOTES ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) KUOMINTANG DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, HO CHIH-YUNG, SAYING: "There is no need for the lives and health of the Taiwanese people to serve as lab rats. We should do instead, is to follow the steps (trial procedures) of other developed nations for our domestic vaccine, I support the domestic vaccine, it would be the best option if we were able to develop our own vaccine because we don't know how long this pandemic will continue. But this vaccine has to be developed step by step, no use in rushing it. It must have, just like you said, the Medigen vaccine went through phase two clinical trials with more than 3,000 samples, other (vaccines) maybe only had 600 to 800 (trial subjects), I know the United States only had between 600 and 800. But in their phase three, they are doing more than 40,000." HO LOOKING ON
- Embargoed: 6th September 2021 09:53
- Keywords: COVID-19 Medigen Taipei Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen coronavirus president vaccination
- Location: TAIPEI, HSINCHU, TAIWAN
- City: TAIPEI, HSINCHU, TAIWAN
- Country: Taiwan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002ERI0V9J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: President Tsai Ing-wen got vaccinated with Taiwan's first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine on Monday (August 23), giving her personal stamp of approval as the island begins rolling out the shot whose approval critics say has been rushed.
The health ministry last month approved the emergency use of Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp's COVID-19 vaccine, part of a broader plan for inoculation self-sufficiency as delays in vaccine deliveries from global drug companies have affected Taiwan and many other countries.
Tsai, who had held off using vaccines from Moderna Inc or AstraZeneca Plc, the current mainstay of Taiwan's vaccination program, received her Medigen shot at a hospital in central Taipei, demonstrating her confidence in the safety of the vaccine.
Medigen, whose Chinese name literally means "high-end," rejects claims its vaccine is either unsafe or that it has been sent to market with undue haste, saying it is effective and well tested.
The recombinant protein vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health in the United States, and the government has ordered an initial 5 million doses. It says nobody will be forced to get it.
The vaccine has yet to finish clinical trials and no efficacy data is available, but the government says studies so far have shown that antibodies created by the shot have been "no worse than" those created by AstraZeneca's vaccine.
Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang, or KMT, has mounted a fierce campaign against the shot, saying that while it supports domestic vaccines, Medigen's approval has been rushed.
Around 40% of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one shot of either of the two-dose AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccines, though fewer than 5% are fully vaccinated.
(Production: Fabian Hamacher)
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