By Tyler Chen
On October 12th, Taiwan’s TTY Biopharm Company Limited received the authorization for delivering COVID-19 vaccines produced by BioNTech. Around 30 million vaccines will be delivered to Taiwan, while 10 million vaccines are expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.
BioNTech’s vaccines BNT162 are co-developed with Pfizer. It is one of four vaccines to have reached Phase 3 clinical trials and could be one of the first vaccines to obtain regulatory approval. Furthermore, BNT162 is not required to go through clinical trials in Taiwan, for the vaccinated response from Asians were collected in previous trials. The other 3 front runners in vaccine development are AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
TTY Biopharm Chairman Lin Chuan said COVID-19 vaccines are sensitive to the transportation and storage environment. The optimal temperature is under -70~-80 celsius and TTY Biopharm Company has already formed partnerships with businesses to tackle the technical challenge.
The details of the vaccine are yet to be finalized. Moving forward, TTY Biopharm Company would have to negotiate with Taiwan’s health officials on certain details such as quantity, manufacturing, arrival time, and pricing of the vaccines before the end of October. It should be noted that the result of the negotiation has no legal effect, and the final offer needs to be reviewed and approved by BioNTech to take effect.
BioNTech has already signed deals with England for 30 million shots, the USA for 100 million shots, Japan for 120 million shots, and the EU for 200 million shots. For the vaccine to take effect, 2 shots are necessary, so the expected 30 million vaccines will protect 15 million people in Taiwan.
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