So far, more than 200 million people around the world have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 4.74 million people have lost their lives. In Taiwan, more than 16,000 people became infected, and more than 840 people have left us. To help people resume their everyday lives and gradually improve vaccination coverage in Taiwan, Hon Hai Precision Co. Ltd. and YongLin Foundation, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and Tzu Chi Foundation have donated 15 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT) vaccine. A batch of BNT vaccine doses have arrived in Taiwan, and teenagers have started making appointments to receive vaccinations. On this day, Tzu Chi University invited its faculty members, staff, and students to participate in “Donating to Help Vaccine Purchase and Mitigate the Pandemic.” Student volunteers of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Association launched a fundraising campaign by asking people to put their donations into bamboo banks, wishing that everyone would extend their love.
In May 2021, COVID-19 began spreading in communities of Taiwan, and people asked to be vaccinated as early as possible. Tzu Chi Foundation decided to purchase 5 million doses of the BNT vaccine, since this is the only kind of vaccine suitable for persons 12 to 18 years of age. University President Ingrid Liu said that Tzu Chi Foundation founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen and people associated with Tzu Chi Foundation care about our younger generation. To protect them, the Foundation decided to purchase the BNT vaccines. President Liu wished students to learn more about it, think about how fortunate we are, and how we can do something for those in need. President Liu also inspired students to save their pocket money and help the Foundation pay for vaccines, with love and gratitude. President Liu took the lead in donating her one month’s salary to support the vaccine purchase and invited everyone to spread their love together.
“I have donated, and I would like to ask others to do the same.” The social media group of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Association warmly invited everyone to donate for the vaccine purchase. The Association’s president Bo-Han Shen said that 30 members have committed to dropping their donations into the bamboo banks. Moreover, they will do it every day and invite their peers to join.
Mei-Mei Shi, a sophomore in the Department of Communication Studies, said that after watching news about the vaccine, she was afraid of its side effects, so she didn’t want to be vaccinated. Her fears went away upon hearing the President’s presentation. Not everyone in the world can be vaccinated, so Mei-Mei decided to donate and help the vaccine purchase. She said: “Vaccines are costly; if we can share the expenses, we will be able to help more people.”
In addition to putting their donations into bamboo banks, faculty members and staff can also support vaccine purchases through online donations. Tzu Chi University successfully developed antibody detection reagents and antigen detection reagents during the epidemic. Recently, the University has also developed reagents to detect the concentration of antibodies after vaccination. Principal Liu wishes that all faculty members, staff, and students will often wash their hands, wear masks, and switch to a vegetarian diet. They should also devote themselves to their professions, through which they can help more people. This demonstrates the power of knowledge. President Liu anticipates that one day we will successfully develop our vaccine to assist the public with professionalism and help the needy worldwide.