Rigorous procedures for clinical testing and scientific evaluation are in place for the domestic COVID-19 vaccine developed by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, and opposition parties should stop their disinformation and smear campaigns against it, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.
Ker is leading negotiations at an extraordinary session of the legislature this week as lawmakers look to approve a relief package to boost government spending on industries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Taiwan has seen a declining trend of new infections in recent days, but we still cannot relax about the situation, and we urge the opposition parties to stop their disinformation and false accusations about domestic vaccine production and efforts to obtain doses from abroad,” Ker said.
“In this troubled time, the whole of society must unite to work on the common goals needed to pull us out of this situation. This is what all our citizens want to see,” he said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and other opposition parties had been casting aspersions and stirring up controversy about the domestic vaccines.
“Although it is the duty of opposition parties to check on and scrutinize the ruling party, they are speculating and conjecturing to vilify domestic vaccine production based on false accusations. This has undermined efforts to unite society and it is not helping in the fight against the outbreak,” he added.
The Food and Drug Administration has given a clear directive, that to be granted emergency use authorization, a domestic vaccine must meet all the requirements of a 10-step procedure, Ker said.
None of the 10 steps can be curtailed or bypassed, while the administration would uphold the professionalism of the medical scientists verifying the clinical test results, and evaluate every step of the procedure to gain the public’s confidence, he said.
Referring to an announcement by Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday affirming that Tokyo is considering sending more vaccine doses to Taiwan, as well as Prague Mayor Zdenek Hrib expressing his support for Taiwan, Ker said that Taiwanese should be proud of the help they have provided other nations in the past 18 months.
“On the same day, two nations have expressed the willingness to provide assistance to Taiwan... We as Taiwanese should be proud of our past endeavors,” Ker said.
“We gave help to other people when they were in need, as we put ourselves in their situation. So we helped our friends when they were most in need and now the situation has changed as Taiwan needs help, and these friends have stood up right away to support us,” he said.
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