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Taiwan allots NT$18.7b for COVID-19 vaccine development

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said on Wednesday (July 22), that the Taiwan government will spend its NT$18.7 billion for the development or purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Health Minister Health Chen Shih-chung, who heads the CECC, the NT$13.5 billion will be alloted on research and development in Taiwan or for the purchase of a vaccine from an overseas source. The remaining NT$5.2 billion, on the other hand, will be held as a reserve fund of the country.

Chen added, that to date, three Taiwanese firms have applied for permission to perform human trials as part of the vaccine development and if proven effective, the government will be willing to issue an emergency use authorizations (EUAs).

He made the statements after several developers, including the National Research Institutes (NHRI), said the country had fallen behind in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine because of onerous regulatory requirements.

Meanwhile, the CECC said seven local manufacturers of COVID-19 tests have given approval from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration to produce and import 26 test kits (CNA).

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