Taiwan says it will not use Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines due to safety concerns, not politics

China has had a history of vaccine problems including the use of expired vaccines, Taiwan's Health and Welfare Minister said.

Kayla Wong | December 08, 2020, 02:58 PM

Taiwan will not be securing Covid-19 vaccines from mainland China, but for reasons unrelated to politics, Central News Agency reported Taiwan's Minister for Health and Welfare Chen Shi-chung as saying on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Safety is priority

Rejecting allegations that the decision was politically-motivated, the head of Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said at the press conference that the reason has more to do with safety concerns.

Sean Lien, member of the Central Standing Committee of the pro-Beijing party Kuomintang and son of a former Taiwanese Vice President, had criticised the Democratic Progressive Party government for denying the efficacy of Chinese-made vaccines due to their alleged "anti-Beijing" stance.

Chinese-made vaccines were found to have problems in the past, Chen said, adding that vaccination is science-related, and that it is inappropriate to look at it through ideological lenses.

Encountered problem with Chinese-made vaccines

Chou Jih-haw, Director-General of Taiwan's Centers of Disease Control (CDC), also said that there have been past incidences where Chinese-made vaccines had expired or were found to have storage management problems.

Therefore, they would have to exercise caution when looking at the vaccines, he said.

Chen further said whether Chinese-made vaccines can be imported into Taiwan depends on trade regulations between China and Taiwan.

As for the 600 million doses of vaccines that Chinese vaccine firm Sinovac will make available by the end of this year, Chen said Taiwan would have to make considerations based on the safety of the vaccines.

He added that there are also some concerns due to China's alleged frequent withholding of information.

Previously, Chen said Taiwan will not purchase Chinese-made vaccines due to a longstanding policy against importing vaccines and other biological products from China, Focus Taiwan reported.

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