Taiwan aims to inoculate 60% of population against Covid-19 with one dose by October amid spike in domestic cases

Taiwan’s minister of health has vowed that at least 60% of the country’s population will have received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by October, but admitted the current infection level does not look good.

Speaking on Friday, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told a daily news briefing that the healthcare situation in Taiwan was not improving in the way that had been hoped. “This is not a very good situation… We are not seeing a downward trend,” Chen said, noting that daily infection levels had remained above 400 cases for the last week.

He said that there were still “hidden patients” in the community and that without identifying them it was hard to bring the virus under control. On Tuesday, the government admitted that they were scrambling to find 300 people who had tested positive for the virus in and around the capital. 

However, the minister did share some more positive news amid the country’s slow vaccine rollout. “If we turn on all the firepower for vaccination, the coverage for the first shot could reach 60%,” Chen noted, citing the date for this target as October. 

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He said that even 40% coverage would be enough to effectively curb the outbreak of Covid-19, noting plans to use a combination of imported and domestic vaccines in the inoculation drive.

Chen claimed on Tuesday that two million vaccine doses would arrive before the end of June and a further 10 million by the end of August, amid rising discontent that only 1% of the population has so far received a shot.

The minister also made no reference to calls for Taiwan to accept China’s offer of help in the form of urgent vaccine supplies. One former opposition leader, Hung Hsiu-chu, said over the weekend, “The real enemy is the virus, not the mainland.”

Earlier this week, Taiwan directly accused Beijing for the first time of blocking deals with vaccine developers, after previously implying China – which claims Taiwan as part of its territory – was to blame for Taipei being unable to sign a deal for Pfizer-BioNTech doses.

President Tsai Ing-wen told party colleagues that her government was close to finalizing the contract but “because of China’s intervention, up to now there’s been no way to complete it”.

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Source:RT World News

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