President Tsai to get her first shot of Taiwan-made vaccine next Monday

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Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (right) looks at samples with Medigen CEO Charles Chen during visit to company in Hsinchu last year. (Taiwan Presidentia… Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (right) looks at samples with Medigen CEO Charles Chen during visit to company in Hsinchu last year. (Taiwan Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will receive her first dose of a locally developed COVID-19 vaccine next Monday (Aug. 23).

In a statement made on Monday (Aug. 16), Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said Tsai had registered to receive the Medigen vaccine via a government platform that morning, when the opportunity to book first become available, according to a CNA report.

She is scheduled to receive the jab on Monday morning — the first day the Medigen vaccine will be administered, Chang said.

Staffers will plan the president’s inoculation route at the vaccination site in accordance with security protocol and COVID-19 prevention measures to avoid inconveniencing others getting the vaccine, Chang said.

The vaccine, developed by the Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp., was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in July despite having yet to go through Phase 3 trials to verify its efficacy against the virus. The EUA was granted due to the amount of antibodies the vaccine generated in trial subjects, according to Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) will also soon register for his own Medigen vaccine shot, according to Chang.

Lai did not register for the Medigen vaccine early because he was originally waiting for another local vaccine, developed by United Biomedical Inc. Asia, Chang said. However, the FDA announced on Monday its decision to deny an EUA to this vaccine, saying it had not met the antibody standard in its Phase 2 clinical trials.

Taiwan president praises nation’s record-breaking Olympians

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday (Aug. 6) praised Taiwan’s performance in the Tokyo Olympics and said the nation will continue its sports training efforts to develop an even more competitive athletic environment.

Tsai noted in a Facebook post that Taiwan’s athletes have so far won two golds, four silvers, and six bronzes, for a total of 12 medals. This figure has surpassed the sum of the nation’s last three Olympic medal counts, she said, adding that this year’s performance has attracted the attention of international media and friends.

The president attributed this year’s unprecedented Olympic success to athletes’ hard work, guidance from coaches, and a comprehensive logistics support team. She also said the National Sports Training Center has made significant improvements to its facilities and bolstered the sports science team’s support for athletes, calling it a “truly indispensable” asset.

Additionally, Tsai said the “Golden Plan” proposed by the Ministry of Education’s Sports Administration in 2018 and implemented in 2019 has achieved notable results. “I want to thank all the partners who have dedicated themselves to this,” she said.

After the Olympics conclude, Taiwan will continue its sports policies to strive for more athletic success in the future, the president said. She added that she looks forward to everyone’s continued participation in fostering sports culture in the country.

Taiwan president receives Australia’s new representative

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday (Aug. 12) met with Australia’s new representative to Taiwan, Jenny Bloomfield, and pledged to continue bilateral cooperation to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

Tsai said that Bloomfield has been working hard to expand Taiwan-Australia relations and promoting non-governmental exchanges, adding that the two nations share similar ideals and values, the Liberty Times reported. She thanked the Australian government for actively supporting Taiwan’s international participation and publicly expressing the importance of stability in the Taiwan Strait.

The president remarked that Taiwan will continue to work with Australia and other like-minded countries to promote stability, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. Tsai also said she hopes Australia will keep supporting Taiwan on the world stage.

The president said the two countries have made great strides on education, technology and information security, and economic and trade investment cooperation. She added that she looks forward to strengthening the regional supply chain and promoting a sustainable, balanced economic recovery model.

Tsai said she hopes the two countries can start negotiations on an economic cooperation agreement as soon as possible.

Bloomfield met with Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on Aug. 5. During the meeting, he said that both sides are “committed to playing a central role in safeguarding democratic values while promoting peaceful development in the region.”