Taiwan banks on Medigen homegrown vaccine

Taiwan is banking on a hit of Covid-19 our own a speed up its inoculation program like the island and many countries struggle to ensure vaccine deliveries from major pharmaceutical companies.

The locally produced Covid vaccine from Medigen Vaccine Biologics has been launched out last week, with President Tsai Ing-wen receives it first shot of the two-dose vaccine last Monday.

Medigen’s vaccine was developed in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health in the United States The vaccine – like the one from Novavax – is based on a technology called recombinant protein, which uses a part of the coronavirus protein to induce an immune response.

In past week, about 600,000 people in Taiwan was inoculated with the Medigen vaccine, the company’s chief executive Charles Chen told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday.

Some critics they put in doubt approval of The Medigen vaccine. Health authorities eliminated the vaccine for emergency use in July after completing only phase two clinical studies in Taiwan with no available efficacy data.

Chen told CNBC it wasn’t possible conduct a “traditional proof of efficacy “because the Taiwan infection rate it is “so low”. Such proof in typically involves a comparison between a vaccinated group and a check group who does not receive the vaccine, he explained.

Instead, Medigen used a method called “immunobridging” to infer the vaccine protection based on level on immune responses in process participants.

“We will say that ours protection it will be … equal or even better than AstraZeneca, “said Chen.

Medigen said in July he received approval to lead to phase three clinical trials for its Covid vaccine in Paraguay.

Covid vaccine deliveries

Taiwan inoculation program had off to a slow start like – like many governments globally – faced challenges in ensure deliveries of the Covid vaccine.

The island, with a population of about 24 million, he received more of 10 million doses of Vaccines Moderna and AstraZeneca, second public data processed by Unicef. That includes nearly 6 million doses donated by the United States and Japan, the data showed.

About 42% of of Taiwan population received at least one shot of the Covid vaccine, of which less than 4% have been fully vaccinated, according to statistics compiled by online repository Our world in Data.

While Taiwan has reported very few Covid infections last year, the cases of the island are skipped in May. However, the cumulative case of Taiwan total remains relatively low. The number of cases reported daily in the island has since fallen, unlike many of its Asian neighbors who still are struggling with infections in increase.

The island has reported 15,995 confirmed cases and 835 deaths since start of last year, the centers of Taiwan for Disease Control said Tuesday.

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