Risky Biz: Taiwan & South Korea’s Low Vax Rates

Just a follow-up to our last post, Will The Delta Variant Shut Down The Economy?, take a look at how surprisingly low Taiwan and South Korea’s fully vaccinated populations are.  Taiwan’s rate is so low, that we suspect (with little conviction) it could be bad data. 

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The countries that have not done mass vaccinations could be hit hard with the Delta variant.  Some had dodged the COVID bullet in 2020 and became complacent, not making sufficient efforts to secure vaccines, while others could not afford them.   

We suspect Japan’s low vax rate, even though the country has thus far kept COVID at bay, led to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s decision to declare a state of emergency. New cases are starting to tick up just as the Olympics are ready to begin, running through July 23 to August 8, and will be held entirely under emergency measures.

France Considers Mandatory Vaccinations

With only 36 percent of its population fully vaccinated, France is now considering making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory as it struggles with lagging take-up of injections and a growing wave of new cases of the Delta variant


In December, Trend Force projected 82 percent of total semiconductor foundry revenue would come from Taiwan and Korea, the primary reason why advanced economies desire to develop and expand their semiconductor manufacturing base. 

Taiwan Secures Vaccines

Major Taiwanese tech companies have inked a deal to buy 10m vaccine doses for Taiwan, sidestepping months of complicated geopolitical wrangling between Beijing and Taipei.

…The US$350m purchase from German manufacturer BioNTech, is split between TSMC, the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, and Foxconn, one of the world’s largest contract electronics makers, and its charity foundation. The two companies will donate the vaccines to Taiwan’s central epidemic command centre for distribution.

Taiwan is suffering major shortages of vaccines, in large part due to global supply issues, but it has also accused Beijing of scuttling an early deal to secure 5m doses directly from BioNTech. Beijing denies the accusation, saying Shanghai-based Fosun Pharmaceuticals had sole distribution rights for the region including Taiwan, and that Taiwan was welcome to go through them.

But to accept Chinese-made or -donated vaccines would be “the kiss of death” politically for Taiwan’s ruling party, analyst Drew Thompson said last month. Despite never ruling Taiwan, China’s Communist party (CCP) government claims it as a province, which it vows to retake. The CCP has recently increased pressure and military intimidation of the island and its occupants.

Taiwan has rejected China’s offers as fake altruism. China has accused Taiwan of putting politics above its people, while simultaneously lambasting doses donated by the US and Japan as foreign interference. – The Guardian, July 12th

Here’s to hoping the vaccines are distributed quickly, like yesterday.  

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