Tai discussed the issue on Monday with drugmakers Pfizer and AstraZeneca PLC, noting her interest in a solution that gave developing countries a role in addressing critical gaps in vaccine production and distribution.
After decisions by various European public health authorities to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in under 60 year olds, we are setting out to urgently find scientific evidence to support decision making around possible alternatives.
"The study's objective is...to determine within 28 days whether a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine can be given to patients who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine," he said.
"The strong pick-up in steel demand in 2021 amidst a robust and broad economic recovery will impede prices from crashing and will help them average at elevated levels this year," according to Fitch Solutions.
Globally, Pfizer and BioNTech aim to make 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this year. Pfizer's chief financial officer told Reuters earlier this month that it had recently doubled the size of the batches of its vaccine and increased the number of batches it was producing.
In an analysis of current supply deals for COVID-19 vaccines, the ONE Campaign said wealthy countries, such as the United States and Britain, should share the excess doses to “supercharge” a fully global response to the pandemic.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization urged nations with vaccines not to share them unilaterally, but to donate them to the global COVAX scheme to ensure fairness.
Hong Kong's government said in early February that it was exempting Chinese drug maker Sinovac from publishing results of its third phase clinical trials in medical journals due to the "urgency" for vaccination.
The city's Health Secretary Sophia Chan has the final decision on whether to approve the Sinovac vaccine.