Japan announced Friday, June 4, that it would give 1.24 million doses of vaccine to Taiwan, facing an outbreak of Covid-19 cases.
“We have received requests from several countries and regions to provide them with vaccines”Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said. “At this point, we have completed the preparations to respond to Taiwan’s request. We will send them 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Japan free of charge ”, he added, adding that the doses would arrive in Taiwan on Friday.
Taiwan, which is experiencing a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, expressed gratitude, stressing that the two neighbors “Shared the universal values of freedom and democracy”. Long set up as a model of good pandemic management, recording only a few hundred cases and fewer than ten deaths linked to Covid-19, Taiwan has seen the number of cases jump in recent weeks.
A virus that spreads through airline pilots
The toll has now reached around 10,000 contaminations and 166 deaths, after the virus was spread by airline pilots. The island, which has 23.5 million inhabitants, has so far received only 726,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 150,000 doses of Moderna vaccine.
It benefits from the Covax sharing mechanism, set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries. But the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, accused China of obstructing the obtaining of doses of the vaccine manufactured by the American (Pfizer) and German (BioNTech) laboratories.
Japan, long criticized for the slowness of its vaccination campaign since its launch in February, has recently shifted into high gear, even though just 3% of its 125 million people have so far received their two doses of vaccine.
Tokyo approved Moderna and AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines two weeks ago, but the latter is not expected to be used immediately, due to the rare but serious cases of thrombosis (blood clots) seen in many cases. ‘other countries.