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Taiwan Asks Germany To Help Obtain Coronavirus Vaccines

TAIPEI: Taiwan asked for Germany’s help to secure COVID-19 vaccines, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said on Thursday, after Berlin asked for the island’s help to ease the shortage of automotive semiconductor chips.

Wang told reporters she made the request in a meeting with Germany’s de facto ambassador in Taipei, who handed her a letter asking for help in solving the shortage, which is hampering economic recovery. emerging of the European nation after the pandemic.

At their meeting on Wednesday, Wang said, she told the head of the German mission in Taipei that she hoped Germany could “help Taiwan get vaccines as far as possible.”

In the letter, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier asked Wang to help persuade manufacturers in Taiwan, home to the world’s largest contract chip maker and one of Germany’s top suppliers, Taiwan Semiconductor. Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), to alleviate the chip shortage.

Wang met with senior chip executives this week who are committed to helping resolve the issue.

Late last month, Taiwan said it had agreed to purchase nearly 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 10 million from AstraZeneca Plc, the first to start arriving from March.

An additional 4.76 million is expected to come from the COVAX global immunization program, but the government has not given any details of the company that could provide the rest.

Pfizer Inc jointly developed with BioNTech SE in Germany one of the leading vaccines currently being deployed worldwide.

Countries are grappling with vaccine shortages around the world. Germany’s health minister said on Thursday he expected the current shortage to persist until April.

Taiwan has brought the pandemic under good control through early and effective prevention, with 896 cases, including seven deaths. Most of the infections were imported from abroad and only 79 people are currently hospitalized.

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