Former Taiwan official received AZ shot after joining UBI clinical trial

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) on Sunday revealed he received the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine on June 23 despite previously participating in the clinical trial of a vaccine from the United Biomedical Inc (UBI, 聯亞生技).

Yaung claimed that he was only informed after his AZ vaccination that he had been administered the UBI vaccine during the trial, instead of the placebo.

In a Facebook post shared on Sunday evening, Yaung emphasized that through his blood test, the antibody in his body was revealed to be very low.

He, therefore, concluded that he had either been injected with the placebo or the UBI vaccine was not effective, so he decided to take the AZ vaccine.

The former health minister stated that UBI had disclosed the trial results on June 27, but they still did not inform him of which group he was in.

Yaung argues that he did not illegally mix vaccines; rather, UBI has violated basic experimental ethics for their untimely response.

To this issue, Chen Hsiu-Hsi (陳秀熙), a professor of National Taiwan University’s College of Public Health, explained that contracts need to be signed during clinical trials.

Chen noted that before experiments begin, both the experimental unit and the test subjects usually sign a contract. The contract would list limitations and protocols during the experimental period to ensure accurate results.

The professor explained that these limitations are only available to those in the experiment, so it would be unfair for others to assume the experiment results.

Chen mentioned that in the case of Yaung, experimental results of the UBI vaccine would more or less be affected by the later AZ vaccination. Chen also highlighted that subjects can end the contract at any time to back out of the experiments, which means their results will not be tabulated.