Vaccinations began in Taiwan during April when the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines arrived. However, the limited number meant first priority was medical personnel. The remainder is available for those willing to pay to be vaccinated early. Normally I would object to “rich first, poor later”, but with no mass spread and only the twelfth domestic death in April, it’s not a race against time.
Taiwan’s two major pharmaceutical companies Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (高端疫苗) and United Biomedical (聯亞生技) each has vaccine candidates. Medigen has two each of which is reportedly effective against the UK and South African variants, but neither does both. Both companies began phase two testing in March; approval should be given by June, and rollout for local vaccination starts in July.
When the domestically produced vaccines are available, they will be free for anyone registered with the national health care system (hand raised). I intend on getting it as soon as I’m eligible and get a place in line.
Taiwan’s government has announced that excess vaccines made here will be available to allies for free, to countries which maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan and don’t kowtow to Beijing. (That’s supposed to be “soft” foreign policy?) Other countries may want Taiwan’s vaccine when it’s available.
Japan is failing to meet its target of acquiring 100 million doses and vaccinating the bulk of its population before the 2021 olympics. (WHY has that not yet been cancelled?) There’s no indication whether Taiwan would waive patents and let India produce their own, but after 2020’s “Milk Tea Alliance” (both countries collectively thumbing their noses at Beijing), it’s a possibility.