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Government to subsidize COVID-19 vaccine research: health minister

2020-07-02  English News

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) The government has earmarked funds to help fund the research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Taiwanese companies, Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said Wednesday.

Experts from Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration and National Health Research Institutes have also been commissioned to provide assistance to vaccine manufacturers in legal areas to help reduce the limitations on clinical trials, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).

The government funds earmarked for assistance with research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine will go toward domestic vaccine companies, some of which have already applied for permission to start clinical trials, he said.

A national team of medical experts has been assembled to handle issues pertaining to patients and medical ethics in the COVID-19 clinical trials, Chen said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is also paying close attention to international research and development efforts and will be prepared to purchase high quality and reliable vaccines for domestic use, based on the assessment of experts, he said.

On June 22, Adimmune Corp., a Taiwan influenza vaccine manufacturer, said it had filed an application to start the first phase of human clinical trials of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The company, which has GMP and FDA certification, said that if everything went well, it would begin enrolling people in its clinical trials in August and start mass production of the vaccine in the second half of 2021.

Two other Taiwanese vaccine manufacturers have also made significant progress in their research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine development and are likely to start human trials soon, according to a CECC source, who did not name the companies.