The government cannot share details about COVID-19 vaccine procurements, as the deals included nondisclosure agreements with manufacturers, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
Su made the remark in response to media queries on the government’s budget for vaccine procurements.
Taiwan has signed contracts to purchase about 20 million vaccine doses from abroad, including 5.05 million doses from Moderna, 10 million doses from AstraZeneca, and 4.76 million from unspecified producers through the COVAX program.
The government has also signed contracts to buy 10 million doses of vaccines produced by two domestic firms.
Su said that nondisclosure agreements are a standard feature of vaccine deals.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and the Hon Hai Precision Industry Co-affiliated Yonglin Foundation, which earlier this month struck deals with German drugmaker BioNTech to each buy 5 million doses and donate them to the government, were similarly barred from disclosing specific information about their deals, Su said.
“We cannot break a contract after we have agreed to it. If we do that, it will be harder for us to buy vaccines,” he said.
The Legislative Yuan has quickly passed budgets for vaccine procurements because lawmakers across party lines agreed that it is imperative for Taiwan to obtain doses, regardless of whether it is through government programs or private initiatives, he said.
“The important thing is that the vaccines are getting here, so I ask Taiwanese to take the jab as soon as it is their turn,” Su said, adding that vaccines are available for people as young as 18.
Asked about the schedule for vaccinating teachers, Su said that all teachers should get the jab before the end of the summer break.
All members of the public who wish to get the jab should register for vaccination to help the government distribute vaccines efficiently and increase coverage, he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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