On Monday, the Taiwanese Health Ministry stated that phase-two clinical trial results showed the vaccine developed by Medigen to be “no worse than” those created by AstraZeneca and that the jab had been approved for use and production.
They added that there were no major safety concerns, but Medigen would be required to present a monthly safety report as its MVC-COV1901 is administered. The two-shot vaccine is designed for people over the age of 20.
“There should be a small amount of supply available in August,” Health Minister Chen Shih-chung told reporters, adding that it would take some time for production to be ramped up.
The shot, which is a recombinant protein vaccine, was developed in collaboration with US experts at the National Institutes of Health.
Last month, the firm said it was seeking emergency use authorization (EUA) following the successful completion of phase-two trials in which the vaccine had demonstrated a positive safety profile.
Taiwan, which has struggled to get hold of life-saving vaccines, has repeatedly said it will be bringing indigenous shots online. The deal made with Medigen by the government in May was for an initial five million vaccines, with a further five million if required.
Taiwan has a similar deal in place with UBI Pharma, which is also developing a domestic vaccine. EBI is yet to receive EUA.
The island’s efforts to inoculate its 23 million people have sped up in recent weeks following the donation of almost six million vaccine doses from Japan and the US. Taiwan, which is considered by China to be an integral part of the country, has previously turned down Beijing’s offers to help in the provision of Covid-19 shots.