Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen received her country’s first locally developed COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in the capital on Aug. 23 as the rollout begins.
Tsai, who broadcasted her vaccination live on Facebook, hoped to demonstrate that the vaccine developed by Medigen Vaccine Biologics was safe and effective despite critics saying that the approval has been rushed.
The health ministry approved the emergency use of the Medigen vaccine last month.
Tsai received the local vaccine after holding off from receiving the vaccines developed by either Moderna or AstraZeneca, which largely makes up Taiwan’s vaccination program.
The rollout for the local vaccine began amid Taiwan’s struggle to secure vaccines from global drug companies.
Tsai also hoped that vaccination rates in the self-governed island would increase.
According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 40% of the population has received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while only 3.29% has received the second dose.
However, unlike other parts of Asia, Taiwan does not face a huge pressure to expedite its vaccination program as the government has successfully curbed the spread of COVID-19 by enforcing strict measures.
Taiwan CDC confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases on Aug. 22, six of which were local and the other four were imported. The total now stands at 15,926.
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