The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday urged the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to share the progress of international COVID-19 vaccine procurement and domestic vaccine development, accusing the center of giving people high expectations which it might not be able to realize.
Urging the center to “stop domestic propaganda,” the TPP posted on Facebook a list of news headlines published between September last year and this month, in which the center had discussed its progress in purchasing COVID-19 vaccines.
“We ask Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) to ‘undertake no more than he can perform’ on the issue of vaccines, and clearly explain the schedule for purchasing vaccines, so that Taiwanese do not hold high hopes only to be disappointed in the end,” the TPP wrote on Facebook.
The party said that since September last year, Chen had more than once announced that Taiwan has signed a contract and paid the deposit to purchase vaccines, as well as saying in December last year that Taiwan had secured nearly 20 million doses of vaccines.
While Chen repeatedly guaranteed vaccines, “the situation did not go as expected, and now he is avoiding announcing the schedule of when vaccines would be obtained,” the party wrote.
The Democratic Progressive Party should be more careful when speaking to the media and not “build castles in the sky,” the TPP said.
Chen, who heads the center, yesterday said that although the TPP urged him to “undertake no more than he can perform,” that is exactly what he has been doing, adding that he previously said he would only announce vaccine procurement progress when a contract has been signed and the deposit paid.
“According to foreign news reports, many countries are snatching up vaccines, but it does not mean we will give up,” he said. “We will continue to try to obtain vaccines through existing channels.”
As for the development of domestic vaccines, the center would not relax its standards on vaccine safety and effectiveness, but it would support vaccine makers by streamlining the application process, Chen said, adding that the center is discussing how to further support the manufacturing of vaccines once approval is gained.
On Saturday, Chen said that Taiwan could face delays in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, after the EU a day earlier introduced tighter rules on vaccine exports.
The new rules, which are to be enforced through March 31, stipulate that exports of COVID-19 vaccines produced in the bloc have to be approved by EU authorities.
Chen said that Taiwan has been in touch with COVAX, a WHO initiative to ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, over the possible delay, but a reply had not yet been received.
Additional reporting by CNA
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of