TAIPEI, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Taiwan may stand up to 9 million doses of BioNTech SE’s COVID-19 vaccine this yr, the founding father of Taiwanese tech big Foxconn stated on Monday, laying out a supply timetable for a vaccine order that grew to become closely politicised. Taiwan had blamed China, which claims the island as its personal territory, for nixing an authentic order from the German agency this yr – fees Beijing has angrily denied.
Taiwan’s authorities then allowed main Apple Inc provider Foxconn – formally Hon Hai Precision Trade Co Ltd – in addition to its high-profile billionaire founder, Terry Gou, together with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd , to barter on its behalf for the doses.
The primary batch of BioNTech pictures arrived final week. A Taiwanese Buddhist group has additionally ordered 5 million pictures, with authorities approval.
Writing on his Fb web page, Gou stated the second batch of vaccines ought to arrive earlier than the top of the week, with the third batch coming across the center of the month.
“Following on, it’s estimated 700,000 to 800,000 doses per week will come as weekly arrivals, so the goal of 8-9 million doses this yr will likely be reached as quickly as potential, however we’re additionally working laborious to get extra to Taiwan this yr,” he added.
BioNTech didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Gou was not in a position to be on the airport to welcome the primary batch as he was in quarantine after coming back from a visit to Europe.
He stated that “in the mean time” there have been no plans for him to obtain the second batch in particular person to “keep away from dragging in a lot of individuals”.
Taiwan is getting the pictures, collectively developed with Pfizer Inc, sooner than anticipated as a delay in regulatory approval of the shot to be used in mainland China made a surplus obtainable for the island. The vaccine is permitted to be used in Chinese language-run Hong Kong and Macau.
Taiwan’s COVID-19 pandemic is effectively below management, with a vaccination programme continuing easily, although solely round 5% of the inhabitants are totally inoculated. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Enhancing by Simon Cameron-Moore)