Domestically developed COVID-19 vaccines should complete phase 3 clinical trials before being administered to members of the public, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday in a video message, adding that he would be willing to take part in such a trial.
Chiang said he believes that a majority of Taiwanese would be willing to support Taiwan-made COVID vaccines, adding that their effectiveness and safety, and whether they can become internationally certified, are major points of concern for many Taiwanese.
Vaccines are for saving people, he said.
To raise confidence among the public in the vaccines, phase 3 clinical trials based on international standards should be conducted before the vaccines are widely administered, he said, adding that if those trials are conducted, he would consider participating.
Successful phase 3 trials would also help the vaccines be approved internationally, Chiang said.
Chiang criticized the government’s focus on vaccine distribution, saying that at a time when the nation is short of vaccine doses, the government should not focus on who should receive the jabs first.
In other countries, the focus is placed on convincing people who have not been vaccinated to get inoculated quickly, he said.
The government should work toward procuring enough doses of effective vaccines and allow people to choose which vaccine brand they want to be inoculated with, Chiang said.
Taiwanese do not want the government to shift the focus away from the vaccine supply issue and engage in a “witch hunt,” Chiang said.
Separately yesterday, Chiang wrote on Facebook that he supports the domestic biotechnology industry, but is opposed to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy “only giving people one option.”
COVID-19 vaccines widely used around the world, such as those by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, completed phase 3 trials, Chiang said, calling the practice “the mainstream international standard.”
“I am willing to give my arm to the national biotechnology industry to conduct phase 3 clinical trials,” Chiang wrote.
However, the Tsai administration should speed up the procurement of safe, effective and internationally certified vaccines, he said.
If that is not possible, the government should allow private groups and companies to assist the government in obtaining vaccines, Chiang added.
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