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CORONAVIRUS/Taiwan thanks Japan for mulling another vaccine shipment

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A medical worker draws from a vial of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated from Japan in Taipei Tuesday. CNA photo June 15, 2021

Taipei, June 15 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday thanked Japan for considering the possibility of sending more COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, after making its first donation of 1.24 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses on June 4.

Taiwan will keep in close contact with Japan, said MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou, who expressed the hope that a new batch of vaccines could arrive in Taiwan as soon as possible.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, who also heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), also thanked Japan for its goodwill during the CECC's daily press conference.

Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced earlier Tuesday that Japan will deliver 1 million free Japan-made doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine directly to Vietnam on Wednesday and is mulling further shipments to both Vietnam and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Motegi said Japan is considering providing vaccines to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines in early July.

Motegi said donating vaccines through global initiatives can be time-consuming, while "direct shipments to countries in severe COVID-19 situations are being made in a speedy manner."

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