More Moderna vaccines arrive
By ECCT staff writers
A shipment of 2.5-million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine donated by the United States government arrived in Taiwan on Sunday (20 June).
The shipment arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on a China Airlines cargo flight from Memphis.
It is the single largest batch of coronavirus vaccines to have arrived in Taiwan in a single day since the pandemic began.
According to the Central Epidemic Command Center, the vaccines were transported to a cold chain logistics centre after arrival, where they will be inspected by health authorities before being cleared for distribution.
The donation of 2.5 million Moderna doses comprises 750,000 pledged by the US on 6 June and 1.75 million it added this past weekend.
Health Minister Chen Shih-chung says the large donation by the US is timely, as Taiwan has been battling a domestic coronavirus outbreak over the past month while American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen says "the donation reflects America's commitment to Taiwan as a trusted friend and an important security partner."
President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the United States for donating the vaccines, describing America as a "true friend" who supports the Taiwanese people.
Writing on her Facebook page, Tsai said that the additional doses were the result of hard work of many people in both the US and Taiwan.
She expressed gratitude to the Biden's administration for its "strong support for the Taiwanese people" and also thanked Taiwan's foreign affairs officials for working to obtain vaccines and fighting for the health of people in Taiwan.
Tsai urged opposition parties here in Taiwan to work with the government in encouraging people to get vaccinated and in "clarifying rumors" surrounding vaccines.
And she went on to stress that "the utmost goal now is for people to become protected against the disease."
In addition, Taiwan took delivery of the second shipment of 240,000 doses of Moderna vaccine on Friday afternoon that are part of its own contract with US pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc.
The vaccines arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 16:21 and were subsequently transported to a designated cold storage logistics centre for follow-up inspection and sealing operations.
The vaccines are part of 5.05 million doses Taiwan signed a contract on 8 February to purchase from the company. The first batch of 150,000 doses arrived in Taiwan on 28 May.