As many in Taiwan get their booster shots, some are worrying out lout over whether a substantial portion of the remaining doses of the locally created vaccine Medigen might expire.
Last year, the Taiwanese CDC purchases 5 million doses of the Medigen vaccine, which both president Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President William Lai received. The uptake was certainly slow at first with many worried that the vaccine might not be recognized by other countries and thus would exclude them from future travel, not that many are traveling currently anyway. However, this year as many look to get their boosters, there has been an increase in demand for the vaccine and some have even complained that they could not find doses in the north of Taiwan.
Currently, according to CDC numbers, nearly 1.9 million doses have so far been administered. While some have been sent to other countries this still leaves Taiwan will a little less than 3 million Medigen vaccines waiting to be used. So now comes the race to decide what to do with these shots.
It is possible that the reportedly low side effects coupled with the push to get people boosted could lead to an uptick in people getting the Medigen shot. Another compounding factor in the potential for its increased use could be if Phase III trials, which were predicted to be released around the New Year, do get published and the data is positive. One last potential boost for Medigen could be the fact that it is also being tested by the WHO in Colombia, Mali, and the Philippines. If it were to be approved this would mean that it would likely be approved for travel, alleviating people’s fears of its lack of recognition.
If none, or not enough of these things occur it is also possible, and arguably the morally correct thing to do to send them elsewhere to help countries that how lower levels of vaccination because of lack of supply.
There is likely to be an increase of questions on regarding what to do with the remaining Medigen vaccines at the daily press briefings, and there will certainly be endless speculation by the talking heads in the media. What citizens and residents of Taiwan choose as their vaccine of choice will almost assuredly have a large impact on how the government answers those inquiries.