Deaths Following Vaccination Reported in Taiwan Exceed Nation's COVID Death Total
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, few nations have been lauded as much for their management of the disease as Taiwan has. Since the first cases of COVID-19 in the country were reported in February 2020, only 16,313 infections and 846 deaths have been recorded. Despite how successfully the nation had managed the outbreak, it still enrolled itself in the World Health Organization-led COVAX exchange program and began its first wave of vaccinations on March 22, 2021. While the nation hadn't had even a dozen deaths attributed to COVID-19 by the time the first vaccine was administered, 836 of the 846 deaths attributed to COVID-19 have occurred since the vaccination program began. In an even more dubious display concerning the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines administered in Taiwan, the nation's Central Epidemic Command Center ("CECC") has stated that 850 deaths have been reported as adverse events following vaccinations. That total eclipses the number of fatalities attributed to the virus itself.
Taiwan's vaccination campaign began much later than many other nations, a lag which many blame on political interference from China which was best illustrated by the island nation's difficulties procuring orders of Pfizer-BioNTech's mRNA vaccines. Despite these hurdles, the country was able to first able to procure 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccines. Additional deliveries of 200,000 and 400,000 doses from the same manufacturer arrived the following two months before another 150,000 vaccines from Moderna were delivered in May 2021. It gave emergency approval to a domestically engineered alternative made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corporation with shipments from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson soon following. As of October 11, 4.48 million Taiwanese, about 19% of the population, have been fully vaccinated and 13.7 million, or about 59% of population, have received on dose. The country has stated that it seeks to have 70% of its population fully vaccinated.