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NEW YORK, Feb 10 — US drugmaker Moderna Inc said yesterday it had entered supply agreements for its Covid-19 vaccine with the governments of Taiwan and Colombia for five million doses and 10 million doses, respectively.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is not currently approved for use in Taiwan or Colombia, and the company said in a statement it will work with regulators to pursue necessary approvals prior to distribution.
Deliveries would begin in mid-2021, the company added.
Late in December, Taiwan said it had agreed to buy almost 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, including 10 million from UK drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc, with the first shots to start arriving from March.
Taiwan has not previously announced the Moderna deal, and has kept details of its vaccine plans largely under wraps, citing commercial confidentiality.
This week Taiwan’s government said it would also receive 200,000 shots of the AstraZeneca from the COVAX global vaccine programme, with vaccinations possibly starting next month.
The government has moved to assure its people it is working hard to ensure access to vaccines, and is also developing vaccines domestically, though at a slower pace.
However, officials have also indicated that with the pandemic well under control in Taiwan there is not the pressing need to get vaccines that some other countries are facing. There are currently only 74 active cases being treated in hospital.
Last week, Germany ducked an appeal by Taiwan for its help to supply Covid-19 vaccines, as the Asian tech powerhouse’s request for assistance following Berlin’s plea to ease a semiconductor supply crunch in the auto industry risked provoking China’s ire.
Vaccines supplies are tight globally in any case. — Reuters
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