TAIPEI (HRNW) – Germany’s BioNTech said Thursday it still intends to provide Taiwan with coronavirus vaccine doses after the island’s health chief warned “political pressure” had scuppered a deal with the company.
Taiwanese health minister Chen Shih-chung said Wednesday that negotiations with the German firm to acquire five million Pfizer/BioNTech shots fell through in December “because someone doesn’t want Taiwan to be too happy”.
His comments raised concerns China might be trying to hinder Taiwan’s inoculation drive.
Authoritarian Beijing regards democratic and self-ruled Taiwan as its own territory and tries to keep the island diplomatically isolated — including keeping it locked out of the World Health Organization.
In a statement on Thursday, BioNTech said discussions to supply Taiwan with doses were still ongoing.
“BioNTech is committed to help bringing an end to the pandemic for people across the world and we intend to supply Taiwan with our vaccine as part of this global commitment,” it said.