By Chang Ming-hsuan and Matthew Mazzetta
Taipei, July 7 (CNA) Taiwan's government will formalize plans by the end of July to allocate NT$1 billion (US$33.9 million) to hold clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidates with the goal of developing an effective vaccine by the first quarter of 2021, according to the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition to the NT$1 billion in funding, the government is also considering allowing phase 2 and 3 clinical trials to be carried out concurrently with as few as 1,000 participants, FDA Director-General Wu Shou-mei (吳秀梅) said in a joint interview Tuesday.
The plans, which are still pending approval by the Executive Yuan, could allow a domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccine to reach the market by the first quarter of next year, she said.
Wu's remarks came after Su Ih-jen (蘇益仁), former director-general of the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control (the predecessor of the Centers for Disease Control), called on the government to issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to accelerate Taiwan's vaccine development process. [FULL STORY]