The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) alleging corruption in the decision to issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Medigen Vaccine Biologic Corp (高端疫苗生物製劑).
The FDA had bypassed standard procedures and, in broad defiance of public and international opinion, decided to approve the vaccine, the KMT said.
Citing FDA data, KMT caucus secretary-general Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said that Medigen started producing vaccines last month, before it received the EUA, which is evidence that the company was given assurances that its vaccine would be approved and made available for use by next month.
“We have become the only nation to approve an EUA for a vaccine that has not passed phase 3 clinical trials,” Cheng said.
Medigen yesterday said that it had received approval to conduct phase 3 clinical trials on 1,000 people in Paraguay.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) cited the vaccine approval process in the US, saying that the process is recorded and that its review processes are transparent.
Taiwan, on the other hand, had not recorded the review process, he said, adding that the public does not know who attended the meeting, or what kind of opposition was voiced.
“We have set the lowest bar for vaccine approval worldwide,” Chiang said.
KMT Disciplinary Committee director Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), who is the party’s legal representative, said that the procedures to approve domestic vaccines went against past practice, despite Taiwan having access to international vaccines and having no immediate need for them.
The FDA was guilty of corruption as it forced through the approval of the EUA by replacing half of the academics on the panel of specialists, Yeh said.
In response, Democratic Progressive Party caucus secretary-general Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said that the legislature would declassify and make public the minutes of the specialists’ meeting within two weeks.
At the specialists’ meeting, 18 members voted to approve the vaccine, one voted for further discussion after asking for more information and one voted to not approve the vaccine, Wu said on Monday, adding that the convener of the meeting was not allowed to vote.
Under the EUA, the company must provide a safety report every month, she said.
‘HONORED’: The DPP’s Lin Fei-fan said friends working in the foreign media, the diplomatic corps and at think tanks congratulated him for making the sanctions list The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday slammed China for sanctioning Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and six other Taiwanese officials for being “diehard separatists,” saying its attempt to intimidate Taiwanese would backfire. China has no authority to dictate the actions of Taiwanese, because Taiwan is a democratic nation that upholds the rule of law, and would never yield to intimidation and threats from an authoritarian regime, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news conference in Taipei. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency earlier yesterday reported that the Taiwan Work Office of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee has imposed
THAI ASSISTANCE: The representative office in Thailand worked with local authorities to help trafficking victims return home, while one in the group has been charged Eight Taiwanese who were lured to Cambodia with lucrative job offers only to be forced to work illegally were brought home on Sunday night in a joint effort between Taiwanese and Thai authorities, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said. Nine people — six men and three women aged 23 to 42 — boarded China Airlines Flight CI-836 from Bangkok, with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 9:55pm and were taken to the Aviation Police Bureau for questioning before entering home isolation in accordance with Taiwan’s COVID-19 regulations. The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday
ORDNANCE: Under a five-year plan, the Chungshan Institute would make about 200 Hsiung Feng II and III/IIIE, and Hsiung Sheng missiles, an official said The Ministry of National Defense plans to counter the Chinese navy by producing more than 1,000 anti-ship missiles over the next five years, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The comments came after China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy began a series of military drills in a simulated naval blockade of Taiwan proper following a visit to Taipei by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Although China has in the past few years rapidly produced many warships and added them to its navy, these large vessels are more suited for warfare on the open sea than in the narrow
The organizers of WorldPride 2025 have canceled the Kaohsiung event because its licensing group, InterPride, demanded that it remove “Taiwan” from the event’s name, they said in a statement yesterday. Kaohsiung was to host WorldPride Taiwan 2025 after being granted the right by the global LGBTQ advocacy group. However, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee said that InterPride recently gave “abrupt notice” asking it to change the name of the event and use “Kaohsiung” instead of “Taiwan,” even though it applied for the event using “Taiwan” in its name. The name was initially chosen for its significance to the Taiwanese LGBTQ community, as