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Taiwan COVID-19 vaccine expected mid-2021 at earliest, says expert

By Fan Chung-hsiang and Matthew Mazzetta

TAIPEI, Taiwan, (CNA) – A Taiwan-developed COVID-19 vaccine will be available by the middle of next year at the earliest, Academia Sinica president James C. Liao, said Thursday.

During testimony at the Legislative Yuan, Liao was asked to provide a time frame on when a local COVID-19 vaccine might reach the market.

He replied that the question would be better addressed to vaccine manufacturers themselves, but said he expected the first Taiwan-made vaccine to be available “in the middle of next year at the earliest, or perhaps even later.”

Regarding Academia Sinica’s role in these efforts, he said it is helping manufacturers conduct testing on animals.

The institute is also developing a COVID-19 rapid test using a field-effect transistor-based biosensor (Bio-FET) that will be able to deliver results in under three minutes, Liao said.

To date, three domestic COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing candidates have been authorized to begin human trials — Adimmune Corp., United Biomedical and Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp.

Taiwan has also joined the COVAX global vaccine allocation plan, which aims to have two billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available by the end of 2021.



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