Chen told CNBC that it was not possible to conduct a “traditional efficacy trial” because Taiwan’s infection rate is “so low.” Such a trial typically involves a comparison between a vaccinated group and a control group that does not receive the vaccine, he explained.
Instead, Medigen used a method called “immunobridging” to infer the vaccine’s protection level based on the immune responses in trial participants.
“We will say that our protection will be … the same or even better than AstraZeneca,” said Chen.
Medigen said in July that it received approval to conduct a phase three clinical trial for its Covid vaccine in Paraguay.
Taiwan struggles with vaccine deliveries
Taiwan’s vaccination program started slowly with the Covid vaccine deliveries challenges hitting the whole world. The island has about 24 million people but they only received 10 million doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines according to public data compiled by Unicef. That includes nearly 6 million doses donated by the U.S. and Japan, the data showed.