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Slovakia thanks Taiwan for masks with pledge of 10,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses

Taiwan has garnered another donation of COVID-19 vaccines, this time from Slovakia, which has pledged 10,000 doses in what the central European country said was a show of support after a Taiwanese gift of face masks to Slovakia last year.

Slovakia thanks Taiwan for masks with pledge of 10,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses

People wait to receive doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at an exhibition hall in Taipei on Jul 14, 2021. (File photo: Reuters/Ann Wang)

TAIPEI: Taiwan has garnered another donation of COVID-19 vaccines, this time from Slovakia, which has pledged 10,000 doses in what the central European country said was a show of support after a Taiwanese gift of face masks to Slovakia last year.

Under the slogan "Taiwan can help, Taiwan is helping", the island has donated millions of face masks around the world since the pandemic began, including to the United States, Asia and European countries, with 700,000 going to Slovakia.

Since a spike in domestic cases began in Taiwan in May, the government has received almost 6 million vaccine doses gifted by Japan and the United States, while Lithuania has said it will donate 20,000 doses.

In a statement on its Facebook page on Friday (Jul 16), the de facto Slovak embassy in Taiwan said that the country would be giving Taiwan 10,000 vaccine doses.

"Slovakia has not forgotten its friends. A year ago, Taiwan provided help in our time of need and donated masks. Now Slovakia will also contribute its own humble effort by donating 10,000 doses of vaccine to Taiwan to express support," it said.

READ: Japan to provide millions more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, Asian neighbours

READ: Foxconn and TSMC ink COVID-19 vaccine deal with BioNTech, to donate doses to Taiwan

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry expressed its thanks and said that Slovakia, whose donation is being coordinated by the European Union, is finalising details including which vaccines will be donated and when they will arrive.

Slovakia, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan, and only officially recognises Beijing's government.

Taiwan is ramping up its vaccination programme after a slow start, initially hampered by supply shortages and accusations that Beijing was blocking deliveries, which China denied.

Around 20 per cent of Taiwan's 23.5 million people have received at least one of the two-shot vaccine regimen so far, and the island's coronavirus outbreak is now well under control.

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Source: Reuters/kg

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