Taiwan's president receives domestically developed vaccine

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has received her first dose of the island’s domestically developed coronavirus vaccine on Monday, launching its rollout to the public

The vaccine, made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp., was given emergency approval by regulators in July using a shortcut that prompted fierce opposition from parts of Taiwan's medical and scientific community.

The two-dose Medigen protein subunit vaccine uses a piece of the coronavirus to teach the body to mount an immune response.

The decision to give approval based on the new standard prompted an expert from the advisory committee on vaccines to resign.

Critics say granting approval before finishing full clinical trials does not provide adequate information on how effective the vaccine is in the real world in protecting from COVID-19, although initial studies may have promising results.

The level of antibodies in the blood is known to correlate with protection from the disease, but scientists do not yet know what the exact level is.

Regulators said Medigen will be required to submit real-world efficacy data within a year of the approval. They said when approving the vaccine that data provided by Medigen showed that it produced 3.4 times the level of neutralizing antibodies as that of AstraZeneca's vaccine.

After a nurse gave her the shot, she flashed an OK sign with her hand.

As of last Friday, 40% of Taiwan's population of 23 million had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The island's vaccination policy is to prioritize first shots, with only the most high-risk groups initially getting the full two doses, such as medical workers.

That's a large leap from May, when less than 5% of the population had received a vaccine.

Taiwan had remained largely free of COVID-19 for a year and half during the pandemic until an outbreak driven by the alpha variant spread across the island in May, prompting a large-scale lockdown.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events