US gives 1.5 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, Health News, ET HealthWorld

By Michael Martina

WASHINGTON: The United States is delivering an additional 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, a senior US administration official told Reuters, bringing the total number of vaccines given by Washington to 4 million. autonomous island, which is increasing pressure from China.

Moderna Inc’s new dose delivery will depart Louisville, Ky. On Sunday on a flight owned by Taiwan’s China Airlines, the official said.

“Our vaccines are not stranded” and were not given to “get any favors or concessions,” administration official Biden said, apparently referring to criticism that Beijing is trying to beef up its geopolitical influence through so-called vaccine diplomacy. .

The official added that Taiwan was a “vital partner” on global health issues.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen thanked the United States and said the donation showed American support for Taiwan to be “rock solid.”

“Building on the solid foundations of this friendship, Taiwan will continue to deepen its partnership with the United States on all fronts,” she said Sunday evening in a Facebook post.

The United States gave 2.5 million doses to the island claimed by China in June, making it one of the first international recipients of American vaccines.

At the time, US officials said China was trying to block Taiwan’s vaccine purchases for political reasons, which Beijing denied.

Japan, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania have also donated COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, where around 70% of the population has received at least one dose, according to Taiwanese media. Only about 30% of the country’s 24 million people have been fully immunized.

Under pressure to share its coronavirus vaccine supply with the rest of the world, the United States has donated 200 million doses to more than 100 countries, the White House said earlier in October.

Taiwan, a key hub of the tense global technology supply chain, has grown at its slowest pace since Q2 2020 during the July-September period, as the coronavirus slows down to contain a local outbreak that hits consumption.

The United States, which like most countries does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, has watched with concern rising tensions with Beijing. President Joe Biden’s administration has pledged to strengthen ties with the island, which under U.S. law is required to provide defense to Washington.

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