Coronavirus Update: Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine?

August in Taiwan

Taiwan still has less than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the country’s first official case back in January. At the time of writing, there have been 486 confirmed cases, with 457 recoveries and seven deaths. Taiwan’s most recent case was a Taiwanese man in his sixties who recently returned from the Philippines. The man, who initially tested negative upon arrival on August 12, showed no symptoms while abroad but fell ill during his quarantine period.

Three travelers from Taiwan recently tested positive for the virus in Laos, Vietnam and Shanghai respectively, reported Taiwan News. A Laotian man who had been working in northern Taiwan tested positive in Laos on August 13 after a stopover in South Korea, having initially tested negative before departure on August 10. The Vietnamese case tested positive while quarantining with recent returnees from the US and Japan, while China are yet to give any information on the case in Shanghai. (Read more: Taiwan: The Best Post-Pandemic Travel Destination)

Vaccine Developed?

In very encouraging news, a Taiwanese-developed vaccine has been given the go-ahead to start human trials. From Addimune Corp., it is the first experimental vaccine from Taiwan to receive approval. The first stage of human trials is expected to take place at NTU hospital. 

Despite an increase in imported cases in the last couple of months, Taiwan’s current virus threat is low. And this can’t have been made any clearer than on August 8 when Taiwanese singer-songwriter Eric Chou held a concert at Taipei Arena with more than 10,000 people in attendance. Everyone attending had to undergo a temperature check, wear a mask at all times and document their travel history before entry, wrote TIME. Indoor events in Taiwan of more than 100 people need approval from the Department of Information and Tourism and the Department of Health before they can go ahead. 10,000 is slightly more than 100, but we guess they got approval… (You might also like: Desperate to Travel: Taiwan Airlines are Offering Flights from Taoyuan to Taoyuan)

(cover photo: CNA file photo)