Shanghai’s Fosun Pharma announced yesterday they signed a deal for Taiwan to secure 10 million doses of the BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, a significant occasion for the country’s battle against the virus. 

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd (Fosun Pharma), the Chinese sales agent for Germany and the United States’ Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine announced on July 11 they had secured a deal with Taiwan to provide 10 million doses to the country. After a prolonged negotiation process where Taiwan’s government tried for months to purchase directly from BioNTech without success, this deal signifies a positive turn for the country’s vaccination programme.

Last month, after criticism from the public over slow vaccination rollout, Taiwan’s government made an agreement with Foxconn founder, Terry Gou, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), to negotiate on the country’s behalf for vaccine acquisition, which would be donated back to Taiwan’s government for distribution.

Fosun Pharma has a contract with BioNTech to distribute their Covid-19 vaccines in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. In a statement they announced that the shots would be sold to TSMC and Gou’s charity via Fosun’s Hong Kong subsidiary and a Taiwanese medical firm.

“We are very pleased to see that this vaccine jointly developed by Fosun Pharmaceutical and BioNTech can play a positive role in the prevention and control of the epidemic in Taiwan,” Fosun Chairman Wu Yifang said.

Taiwan has millions of vaccines on order, primarily from AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc, and the United States and Japan have collectively donated almost five million vaccines to the country. Currently, around one tenth of Taiwan’s population have received at least one vaccine, and fortunately due to relatively minimal outbreak, the country has been able to wait out vaccination distribution.

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