Japan formally approves its first COVID-19 vaccine

Japan’s Well being Ministry mentioned it had accepted the vaccine co-developed and provided by Pfizer Inc.

Japan on Sunday formally accepted its first COVID-19 vaccine and mentioned it could begin nationwide inoculations inside days, however months behind the US and lots of different international locations.

Japan’s Well being Ministry mentioned it had accepted the vaccine co-developed and provided by Pfizer Inc.

The announcement comes after a authorities panel on Friday confirmed that closing outcomes of medical testing finished in Japan confirmed that the vaccine had an efficacy just like what abroad checks confirmed.

Many international locations started vaccinating their residents late final yr, and Pfizer’s vaccine has been used elsewhere since December.

Below the present plan, about 20,000 front-line medical employees at hospitals in Japan will get their first pictures starting round Wednesday. About 3.7 million different medical employees will likely be subsequent, adopted by aged folks, who’re anticipated to get their pictures in April. By June, it’s anticipated that every one others will likely be eligible.

Vaccines are thought of key to holding the delayed Tokyo Olympics this summer season. Japan is predicted to obtain 144 million doses from Pfizer, 120 million from AstraZeneca and about 50 million from Moderna earlier than the tip of this yr, sufficient to cowl its inhabitants.

Vaccines being developed by Japan are nonetheless within the early phases, so the nation should depend on imports. AstraZeneca utilized for approval in Japan solely just lately, whereas Moderna hasn’t utilized but. Japan’s reliance on the imports, a lot of them topic to EU export controls, can be inflicting considerations about provides.

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