Medigen not acceptable for trips to the United States

DISADVANTAGES:
The new U.S. air travel policy requires all noncitizen travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the Taiwanese vaccine is not on the list

Editor, with CNA, WASHINGTON

The US government will next month require all non-US citizens to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before embarking on a flight to the nation, but the Taiwanese vaccine manufactured by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (疫苗) is not on the Washington acceptable list. vaccines.

The new international air travel policy, which will take effect on November 8, requires all non-citizen and non-immigrant air travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before flying to the U.S.

People are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, the White House said.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Vaccines accepted under the travel policy are those approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and vaccines that have been approved for emergency use by the WHO.

They include vaccines manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, which have been launched in Taiwan, as well as those produced by Johnson and Johnson, and Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm.

People who received two doses of different brands of vaccines would also be approved for entry, as long as the two doses were administered at least 17 days apart and both brands were included in the FDA lists or the WHO.

The vaccine developed by Medigen of Taiwan is not on any list.

As of Monday, 614,535 people in Taiwan, or about 2.6 percent of the population, had received two doses of the Medigen vaccine, while another 138,119 people had received one dose, according to government data.

The vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Taiwanese FDA in mid-July without conducting phase 3 clinical trials to determine its effectiveness.

Instead, it was approved based on immunobridging, which uses the level of neutralizing antibodies generated by the vaccine in a smaller number of trial participants to infer its effectiveness in fighting a virus. This process has not yet been accepted by U.S. health authorities as a basis for approving a vaccine.

The new U.S. travel policy is to replace the one established by the previous administration that banned non-US citizens from entering the nation if they were present in any of the 33 “red list” countries for the previous 14 days. on the trip.

Some travelers are exempt from the new policy, including children under the age of 18 and certain participants in COVID-19 vaccine testing.

Also exempt are those who have medical contraindications to vaccines, those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons, and those who travel with non-tourist visas from countries with a total vaccination rate of less than 10%.

Updated travel guidelines also include new testing protocols.

Unvaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens, should take a negative test within one day after the trip, while those who are vaccinated must provide a negative result within three days of the trip.

In response to media questions about whether the new policy would prevent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President William Lai (賴清德) from visiting the United States, as they both received the Medigen vaccine, the Center’s spokesman said. Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said yesterday in Taipei that the Foreign Ministry is negotiating with Washington in the hope that the US visits of Taiwanese officials who have received the Medigen coup will not they will be affected.

Medigen in a statement yesterday expressed regret for the inconvenience it has caused people as their vaccine has not been certified in the US or WHO, adding that it is working hard to get global certifications.

Meanwhile, the WHO announced yesterday the launch of solidarity test vaccines co-sponsored with the ministries of health of Colombia, Mali and the Philippines.

Medigen is among the vaccines candidates for the trial, the WHO said in a statement.

“Solidarity Test Vaccines aims to accelerate the evaluation of multiple promising candidate vaccines against COVID-19, contributing to the creation of a larger portfolio of vaccines needed to protect people from COVID-19 worldwide,” says the statement.

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