Taiwan has had a setback in its drive for coronavirus vaccine self-sufficiency, with one of its home-grown jabs failing to meet the standard for emergency use. The island’s regulator rejected UBI Pharma’s application for emergency use of its vaccine candidate on Monday, saying interim data from phase 2 clinical trials showed it did not trigger enough antibodies. Those produced did not reach the level of the AstraZeneca jab – the standard set by the island for emergency use approval before efficacy data is available for phase 3 trials. Seventeen of 21 experts in a panel advising the government voted against granting emergency use. Taiwan – home to 23.5 million people – is keen to produce its own vaccines after it struggled to secure enough doses during its worst outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year. The outbreak, which began in April, is now under control and Taiwan has received supplies of mainly AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines, including through the World Health Organization-backed Covax Facility. As of Saturday, some 9.7 million doses had been administered on the island, according to the Taiwan Centres for Disease Control. The government had planned to buy 5 million doses of the UBI vaccine. Another home-grown jab, made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp, was given emergency use approval last month . The roll-out will begin from August 23, starting with at least 600,000 doses, the Central Epidemic Command Centre said. Taiwan plans to buy 5 million Medigen doses in total, and President Tsai Ing-wen has said she will be receiving the Medigen vaccine. UBI will go ahead with planned phase 3 trials of its vaccine candidate in India and Taiwan, Hwang Kao-pin from the China Medical University Hospital in Taipei, who is heading those trials, told Apple Daily in Taiwan on Monday. In June, the company said it would recruit 11,000 volunteers for the final stage of clinical trials in India. Taiwan plans coronavirus vaccine offensive for diplomatic allies During Taiwan’s vaccine shortage in May, and with relations already tense, a dispute erupted with Beijing – which claims the island as its own – over doses. Taipei accused Beijing of blocking its attempt to buy BioNTech shots directly from the German vaccine maker, a claim Beijing denied. Taiwan also rejected Beijing’s offer of Chinese vaccines over safety concerns. By June, the island had managed to secure a total of 10 million BioNTech doses through donations from a Buddhist group and two tech firms which had bought the vaccine from Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group – BioNTech’s manufacturing and distribution partner for mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.