Coronavirus: Taiwan vaccine maker poised to release phase 2 clinical trial data

11-Jun-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

A Taiwanese vaccine developer is expected to release phase 2 clinical trial data on Thursday, as the island continues to grapple with an outbreak of the coronavirus.

The island’s Central Epidemic Command Centre reported 263 new local cases of Covid-19, three imported case and 28 deaths.

“The number of cases shows a slight downward trend overall from both the onset and testing date. But it is not significant and we need to keep paying attention,” Health minister Chen Shih-chung said.

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One of the imported cases was a patient who had received two doses of the Pfiser-BioNTech vaccine in the United States in April.

Lo Yi-chun, deputy director general of Taiwan’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said it was possible for people who had had both doses to be infected and have mild symptoms.

“But severe disease and death are unlikely,” Lo said. “The viral load and the transmission ability of those vaccinated will be lower than those who have not had it.

“We encourage people to get vaccinated and continue to wear masks and wash their hands to avoid infecting others

Medigen Vaccine Biologics said it would announce the results of a phase 2 trial later on Thursday and apply to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorisation, according to local media reports.

Asked about Medigen’s vaccine, Chen, the health minister, said the command centre was not involved in decisions about vaccine candidates.

“After the data comes out, it will be combined with other relevant studies and sent for review. If it passes, the vaccine could be used. But we cannot make predictions now,” he said.

Separately, a Taipei clinic was fined NT$2 million (US$72,200) for administering more than 1,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to people who were not on the official priority list, Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang Shan-shan said on Wednesday.

The command centre said the incident “seriously affected the rights and interests of medical staff who have not yet been vaccinated” and an investigation had been ordered.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said “the order of vaccination set by the central government is the result of expert discussions on public health and social stability”.

“[I] hope local governments and other units will follow the order and administer vaccines efficiently,” she said on Facebook. “Get vaccinated when it’s your turn.”

With Monday’s Dragon Boat Festival public holiday just a few days away, the government has been encouraging people to stay put for the long weekend to prevent further spread of the virus.

Chen Tsung-yen, deputy commander of the Central Epidemic Command Centre, said highway traffic would be limited to about half, and about 6,000 train tickets were refunded on Monday after people heeded advice and cancelled travel plans.


Category: Taiwan

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