2021-07-13| Asia-PacificCOVID-19

COVID-19: Foxconn and TSMC Closes Deal to Secure 10 Million Pfizer Vaccines for Taiwan

by Tyler Chen
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Taiwan has been a good model for battling the COVID-19 pandemic, with one of the lowest infected cases and deaths worldwide. But lately, the country has faced a spike in numbers, going into level 3 restriction for weeks. The best strategy to control the virus spread would be to vaccinate a majority of the population quickly. To do that, the country must have enough vaccine doses.


Foxconn and TSMC Seal the Deal

On July 12th, Taiwanese tech giants Foxconn and TSMC announced completing the purchase of 10 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2. The vaccines will be shipped to Taiwan as early as September. By then, all the vaccines will be donated to the government and will be distributed by Taiwan’s CDC to execute the mass inoculation strategy.

Details of the delivery timeframe are not disclosed. However, the total cost of the acquisition is around $350 million, with TSMC and Foxconn each spending $175 million for acquiring 5 million doses of BNT162b2.

In order to acquire the vaccine, they had to make deals with China’s Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, which holds the right to sell BNT162b2 in China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. In May, Taiwan had accused China of interfering with their access to BNT162b2, but China had denied those claims.


Has Taiwan Procured Enough COVID-19 Vaccines?

Currently, Taiwan has vaccinated 3.5 million citizens with at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccines, at an inoculation rate of 14.66%. It has purchased around 39 million doses, which is enough to reach herd immunity for the country. However, the time of delivery would play a huge part in quickly establishing protection since the Delta variant was detected in Taiwan at the beginning of June.

So far, Taiwan has acquired vaccines from AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer/BioNTech. In addition, it is counting on two of its domestic drugmakers, Medigen and United Biomedical, whose vaccines are just inching toward Phase 3 clinical trials.

Among the 39 million doses that it now has, around 5.8 million have come from donations made by Japan (3.3 million AZ vaccines), the United States (2.5 million Moderna vaccines), and Lithuania (20,000 AZ vaccines).

Related Article: Korea Receives 700,000 COVID-19 Vaccines from Israel Under a Swap Deal


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