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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. sent 2.5 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan on Sunday — More than triple the number it had previously pledged, AP reports.

Why it matters: The donation is a show of support for Taiwan as it faces pressure from China, which has claimed the self-governed island as its territory, AP writes. It comes as Taiwan has faced an uptick in COVID-19 cases in May, despite the virus having been largely under control in the country until that point.

The U.S. had promised Taiwan 750,000 vaccine doses earlier this month, but Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the countries worked together to increase the donation.

Between the lines: The donation has "both public health and geopolitical meaning," AP writes. The U.S. doesn't have normal diplomatic relations with Taiwan under the one-China policy, and China has sought to bring Taiwan under its control.

  • “These vaccines are proof of America’s commitment to Taiwan,” said Brent Christensen, the director of the American Institute in Taiwan. “Taiwan is a family member to the world’s democratic countries.”
  • “Whether it is for regional peace and stability or the virus that is a common human adversary, we will continue to uphold common ideas and work together,” wrote Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Facebook, per AP.

Go deeper: U.S. to buy 500 million Pfizer doses to share with the world

Go deeper

Biden's muddled China policy

President Biden looks at Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joins them in virtual announcement of a trilateral nuclear submarine agreement. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden came into office with a plan for dealing with China that sounded great in theory but's failing in practice.

Why it matters: The idea was to confront China aggressively on a range of issues — from trade abuses to human rights — while working cooperatively on areas of mutual interest, including climate change. A new plan to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines makes that both-ways approach even less realistic.

Sep 15, 2021 - Health

Pfizer says data suggests COVID vaccine boosters are warranted

A nurse administering a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 19 in Pasadena, Calif. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer told the FDA Wednesday that data from its clinical trials suggests a third shot of its coronavirus vaccine may be necessary six months after the second dose because of waning efficacy.

Why it matters: The FDA's advisory committee on Friday is expected to review Pfizer's clinical trials and other supporting and conflicting data on coronavirus booster shots and make recommendations on whether more Americans 16 years and older should receive an extra dose.

16 mins ago - Health

Health policies at stake in Democrats' infrastructure bet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Democrats are at a pivotal moment in their quest to expand health care coverage, slash the cost of prescription drugs and create a social structure that prioritizes people's health.

Driving the news: Democrats have a clear list of health care priorities they'll be fighting for this week. Among them is a measure to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing benefits.

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