Taiwan tech giants Foxconn and TSMC to shop for 10m Covid jabs

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Two of the world’s biggest technology manufacturers are buying 10 million doses of a Covid vaccine for Taiwan.

Taiwanese firms Foxconn, which makes devices for Apple, and chip giant TSMC brokered the agreements for the BioNTech vaccine, worth $350m (£252m).

Taiwan has been trying for months to shop for the vaccine from Germany’s BioNTech and blames China for blocking a deal.

China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own territory, denies the accusations.

The agreements will see Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) buy five million doses of the vaccine each and donate them to the govt for distribution.

The deal was announced during a statement by BioNTech’s Chinese sales agent Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group.

Fosun Pharma’s chairman and chief executive Wu Yifang said they might “work closely with our partners to supply safe and effective vaccines to Taiwan at an early date”.

Foxconn’s billionaire founder and chairman Terry Gou wrote on his Facebook page that Beijing didn’t interfere with the talks.

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BioNTech developed the mRNA vaccine, which is marketed as Community, together with the US pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer.

Taiwan’s government has faced intense pressure from the general public to hurry up its coronavirus vaccination program.

Last month the govt agreed to permit Mr. Gou and TSMC to barter deals for the vaccines on its behalf.

A major Taiwanese Buddhist group, the Tzu Chi Foundation, is additionally trying to shop for vaccines for Taiwan.

Separately, the US and Japan have donated a complete of just about five million Covid vaccine doses to Taiwan to assist the island to accelerate its vaccination program.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has many vaccines on order, mainly from AstraZeneca and Moderna.

Just 0.3% of Taiwan’s population is fully vaccinated.

Last week, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the govt aims to possess 25% of its population vaccinated with a minimum of one dose of a two-shot jab by the top of July.

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