The Polish government has donated 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan, the third-largest vaccine donation to Taiwan behind Japan and the United States.
The vaccine gift has been welcomed by both politicians and the public in Taiwan. The tallest building in Taipei was lit up with messages “Thank you, Poland” and “Friendship regardless of distance”. Social media was awash with messages of gratitude.
The Taiwanese ministry of foreign affairs took to Twitter to thank Poland for its “generous gesture”, noting that “cooperation and solidarity will overcome the pandemic”.
President Caj Ing-wen said that Polish-Taiwanese friendship was yet another testimony to mutual assistance which democratic states are giving each other to combat the pandemic. Other Taiwanese officials have also expressed their gratitude. The health minister, Chen Shih-chung, appeared at a press conference on the pandemic in Taiwan wearing a Polish flag emblem on his face mask.
Taiwan has up to now received 6 million vaccine doses from Japan, the US, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. The largest donation has come from Japan, which provided 3 million doses and in second came the US with 2.5 million doses. Poland’s donation is more then 12 times that made by Czechia and 20 times more than Lithuania’s.
Taiwan has faced difficulties providing its 24 million citizens with a vaccine. It has only received 14 million doses and only 10 million have received one dose and just two million two vaccine doses. But the island has enjoyed low infection (16,000) and mortality (837) rates.