Taiwan has blamed “external forces” over the last-minute failed attempt to purchase 5 million doses of BioNTech SE’s Covid vaccine, according to Bloomberg. The government cites political pressure from Beijing as the cause of the failed deal with the German-based drugmaker. 

  • Taiwan has achieved success in combating the spread of the coronavirus, as it has registered nine deaths and less than 1,000 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Taiwan has faced challenges securing vaccinations for its 23.5 million, and the failed deal with BioNTech is a significant setback to its inoculation efforts. 
  • China has claimed Taiwan as its territory and has increased military and diplomatic pressure while threatening invasion.
  • Taiwan was worried that the selection of China-based Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. to distribute BioNTech’S vaccine would face political pressure.
  • Beijing has blocked Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the WHO’s World Health Assembly severally since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office.

Taiwan’s government is talking with BioNTech and plans to purchase 20 million doses, with 5 million doses provided by the Covax program.