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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Fast-tracking vaccine batch releases

After weathering the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year, Taiwan has since early last month been hit by a wave of local infections. Before then, few people were concerned about vaccines, but the issue has suddenly become the focus of public attention. The urgency of obtaining vaccines has been much discussed, but many do not understand the peculiarities of the vaccine industry, or international vaccine supply and demand amid a pandemic.

Taiwan’s epidemic prevention policy over the past four decades has been oriented toward public health — from the control and prevention of hepatitis B in the early 1980s and the local development of an avian influenza vaccine in the early 2000s to the development of enterovirus vaccines — with emergency situations receiving temporary policy support, but support for vaccine development ebbed as the epidemics subsided.


Outbreak seems to be stabilizing: Chen

Medical workers operate a COVID-19 rapid screening station outside New Taipei City Hospital’s Sanchong Branch yesterday.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

The COVID-19 situation appears to be relatively stable and on a downward trend, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, as he reported 185 domestic COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths.


COVID-19: Riskier areas to receive more vaccines

Medical staff administer a shot of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to a person at a care home in Chiayi County yesterday.
Photo: Wang Shan-yen, Taipei Times

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that cities and counties with a higher risk of COVID-19 infection would receive 5 or 10 percent more vaccine doses in the next distribution round.


Critics must put country over party

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) earlier this month called on the public to remain united in the fight against COVID-19, indicating that her government would spare no effort to contain the disease, which has already surpassed 10,000 cases. These words come when we need them most, and remind us that we are in this fight together.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) seems to have forgotten this, choosing to launch attacks against the Tsai administration for political points instead of looking for bipartisan solutions.


Taiwan must be included in talks

During his first overseas trip as president, US President Joe Biden on June 15 is scheduled to visit Brussels and meet European Commission and Council presidents Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel. In their joint statement following consultations between European External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino and US State Department Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman last month, the two sides reaffirmed the strength of transatlantic relations.

They stressed a mutual interest in strengthening the rules-based international order and pledged close cooperation in support of democratic values, global and regional stability, and human rights. They agreed to continue cooperation regarding “possible joint approaches to bring about positive change in the Indo-Pacific.”


Japan sets an example for others

At 1:57pm on June 4, a gift from Japan arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Japan Airlines Flight JL809 was carrying a donation of 1.24 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

This moment stuck me for its historic importance, and I could not stop myself from saying out loud: “Good for you, Japan. Thank you.”

Germany, by contrast, has opted to dance to the tune of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) “one China” principle, despite the fact that Germans feel the CCP breathing down their necks when they handle political issues involving Taiwan.

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aiwanese independence supporters wave flags and shout slogans at the Formosa Alliance’s rally in Taipei yesterday to demand the right to hold a referendum on Taiwanese independence.
Photo: EPA / Ritchie B. Tongo

Under the Formosa Alliance’s rallying call, tens of thousands of people yesterday gathered in front of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, demanding an amendment to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow for a poll promoting Taiwanese independence and rejecting Chinese annexation.