Taiwan will hold a second bidding round for the purchase of 5 million doses of flu vaccine after the first round failed because there were not enough bidders, an official said yesterday.
The first round flopped because there was only one bidder, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said.
Regulations state that the first bidding round must have at least three bidders to make it valid, but there is no such requirement for the second round.
CDC spokesman Lin Ting (林頂) said the CDC would announce the second round on Monday and it would be held next Friday.
CDC said it is difficult to find a pharmaceutical company to supply large amounts of flu vaccine at the moment because many countries are rushing to buy the drugs.
“We are facing an awkward situation now — a shortage of vaccines, including regular flu vaccines,” Lin said.
Lin said the CDC was concerned that vaccines for regular influenza would run out before the new bidder comes up with a safe bottom line of 5 million doses.
“Before regular influenza returns and hits us in the fall, we will need to have enough doses,” he said.
Lin said the CDC hopes to acquire 5 million doses for regular flu and 10 million doses of vaccine for A(H1N1) influenza to prevent a large-scale outbreak of swine flu, which erupted in Mexico in April and quickly spread to other countries.
So far Taiwan has reported 72 cases of swine flu infection. Most of the patients had mild cases and have recovered.