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Taiwan blames meddling ‘external forces’ for arduous vaccine procurement | Taiwan News

Technician inspects filled vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Technician inspects filled vials of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Monday (July 12) said that if there was less meddling from outside forces, it would be much easier for Taiwan to obtain vaccines.

After weeks of negotiations, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Foxconn Technology announced on Monday that they finally made a deal with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group to each purchase 5 million BioNTech vaccine doses.

The MAC said that the Cabinet has revealed the stipulations and schedule of the procurement agreement. The vaccines will be produced by BioNTech in Germany and bear the official company label before they are shipped directly to Taiwan, the council added. The Central Epidemic Command Center has also expressed gratitude on behalf of the government to all the parties involved, reported Liberty Times.

The MAC said that even with cooperation between the government and the private sector, purchasing foreign vaccines still involves complex medical and legal procedures, adding that the process from contract signing and receiving the jabs was arduous. If there was a reduction of “interfering and obstructing external forces,” Taiwan could purchase vaccines much more smoothly, the council said.

Meanwhile, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said the deal with Shanghai Foshun is good news to “Taiwan compatriots” who are suffering from the epidemic and frantic for vaccines, per Liberty Times. He also said that the vaccines have come a bit late, adding that if Taiwan had considered the lives, health, and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots, the matter could have been resolved sooner.

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