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Taiwan says China blocked deal with BioNTech for COVID-19 shots

Added 05-26-21 04:04:03am EST - “Taiwan directly accused China for the first time on Wednesday of blocking a deal with Germany's BioNTech SE for COVID-19 vaccines, in an escalating war of words after Beijing offered the shots to the island via a Chinese company.…” - News.yahoo.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From News.yahoo.com: “Taiwan says China blocked deal with BioNTech for COVID-19 shots”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan directly accused China for the first time on Wednesday of blocking a deal with Germany's BioNTech SE for COVID-19 vaccines, in an escalating war of words after Beijing offered the shots to the island via a Chinese company.

Taiwan has millions of vaccine doses on order, from AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc, but has received only slightly more than 700,000 to date, and has only been able to vaccinate about 1% of its population as cases surge.

While Taiwan has previously said it had been unable to sign a final contract with BioNTech, it had only implied that Chinese pressure was to blame.

In comments at a meeting of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party, President Tsai Ing-wen said they had "smoothly" booked orders for the AstraZeneca and Moderna shots.

"As for Germany's BioNTech, we were close to completing the contract with the original German plant, but because of China's intervention, up to now there's been no way to complete it," she said.

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