Foxconn founder Terry Gou recently appealed to the government, hoping to increase the purchase of BNT's next-generation vaccines. China's Fosun Pharma, the BNT distributor in Greater China, also announced on the 21st that the next-generation vaccines can be used in future contracts. Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan said that businessmen are very flexible in changing, unlike national policies, which are difficult to turn.
Terry Gou, the founder of Foxconn, recently got in a tussle with the government because of the next-generation BNT vaccine procurement project. Fosun Pharma, the BNT distributor in Greater China, also urgently issued a statement on the 21st saying that future contracts can be replaced by next-generation vaccines.
Hsueh Jui-yuan, Minister of Health and Welfare: “There are many twists and turns in a company's business strategy. This is not like a country's national policy, which is more difficult to turn. A businessman making such a change is very flexible.”
Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan was unwilling to directly respond about procuring the next-generation BNT vaccine. The public is concerned about whether there will be safety concerns for those who originally received BNT to mix vaccines with Moderna and other next-generation vaccines.
Huang Yu-cheng, Pediatric Infection Physician, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital: “There is no problem with mixing booster shots and prior vaccine shots with different brands.”
Lee Ping-ing, Convener, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, MOHW: “Of course, we should buy more if we can. There are now two next-generation vaccines. Their effects and side effects are similar. If the two vaccines are equally effective, we don't need to choose which vaccine must be used in Taiwan.”
Experts suggest that the government buy as many vaccines as possible. However, Gou posted an angry criticism on Facebook on the 21st, stating that "animals eat money," which was interpreted as pointing the finger at the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Hsueh Jui-yuan, Minister of Health and Welfare: “I didn't check Facebook. A person can think for himself or herself. Everyone's feelings are different.”
The next-generation BNT vaccine controversy not only affects funding and other issues, but also involves the possibility of Terry Kou and Ko Wen-je's presidential bid in 2024.