Poland to donate 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan
WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will donate 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Plc COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, the foreign ministry in Warsaw said on Saturday, to help boost vaccination rates in the country.
While a relatively small domestic coronavirus outbreak is well under control in Taiwan, only around 5% of its 23.5 million population are fully vaccinated, though the government has millions of vaccines on order.
It has already received some six million vaccine doses gifted by Japan and the United States, enabling it to speed up an inoculation programme that it said had been hampered initially by China, though Beijing denies playing any negative role.
Poland says its vaccine donation is a reciprocal move after Taiwan donated medical equipment during the first wave of the pandemic.
"Keeping in mind this important gesture, Warsaw will offer Taipie 400,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to speed up the vaccination process. Increasing the number of vaccinated people globally is in everyone's interest," the statement said.
Taiwan's foreign ministry has thanked Poland for the donation.
Slovakia, Czechia and Lithuania recently donated or said they would donate vaccines to Taiwan, which has repeatedly rejected offers of doses from China, saying it has doubts about the safety of Chinese made shots.
(Reporting by Joanna Plucinska and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Mike Harrison)
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