Medical experts gather at COVID-19 Symposium to discuss Taiwan’s strategies

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民視英語新聞 Formosa TV English News
Published at : 09 Nov 2020
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Experts on communicable diseases came together on Friday at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to discuss Taiwan''s past and future strategies against the coronavirus. The COVID-19 Symposium was also attended by government officials including Vice President Lai Ching-te and the head of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. One pressing topic of discussion was Taiwan''s strategy to secure COVID vaccines after negotiations with Germany''s BioNTech fell through earlier this week.

The COVID pandemic doesn''t look ready to end any time soon, with worldwide cases now approaching the 50 million mark. With the winter season just around the corner, what can Taiwan do to stay prepared? Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou on Friday held the COVID-19 Symposium to discuss the matter. Among the attendees discussing public health policy was Vice President Lai Ching-te, who is also a trained doctor.

Lai Ching-te
Vice president
As of today, the virus has infected more than 45.8 million people. Looking at Taiwan at this point in time, you can see we''ve been blessed.

Cherng Wen-jin
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Our goal is to draw a summary of Taiwan''s epidemic prevention efforts over the past 11 months. There may be an even bigger challenge on the way, so the symposium today is aiming to bring together ideas from experts and scholars to better prepare for the future.

Experts say humanity has to learn to coexist with the coronavirus, especially before a vaccine hits the market. But they also warn that the release of a vaccine is not the cure-all for every problem. RNA vaccines, which seem likely to be the first to be used on humans, could come with side effects.

Chou Jih-haw
Taiwan Centers for Disease Control
Every vaccine will have some adverse reactions. If these are within an acceptable scope, and the effect is better - under these circumstances, the [vaccines] would still be administered to people.

A deal to acquire COVID vaccines from Germany''s BioNTech fell through earlier this week. Experts say Taiwan may have to source its vaccines from global vaccine alliance Covax and from domestic producers.

Shih Shin-ru
Chang Gung University
I think that up to now, Phase I clinical trials have gone quite smoothly. Now, for Phase II and Phase III the trials involve tests overseas. So, cooperative schemes with other countries have to be established now.

Experts said disease prevention was only half the battle and that Taiwan must now work proactively to acquire vaccines. The experts at the event shared their views and plans for Taiwan''s path forward in the post-pandemic world.
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