Japan agrees to purchase 50 million additional Pfizer vaccine doses

Tokyo, Apr 21 (EFE).- Japan agreed to purchase 50 million additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical company Pfizer, local media reported Wednesday.

With these, Japan hopes to have enough doses to advance the vaccination process among its entire population, which began in mid-February but to date has only inoculated about 1 percent of the population.

The additional vaccines would add to the 144 million doses that Japan has already contracted with Pfizer and another 50 million with Moderna.

In total, Japan would have enough doses to inoculate its approximately 110 million citizens above 16 covered by the national vaccination campaign twice over.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday in a parliamentary session that the government aspires to have all the doses by September.

Suga addressed the additional supply of Pfizer in a Saturday telephone call with the CEO of this pharmaceutical company, Albert Bourla, as part of his trip to the United States to meet American President Joe Biden.

To date, Japan has inoculated 1.2 million health workers with one dose of the vaccine in the first vaccination phase and some 19,000 citizens over 65 within the second, according to official data.

Japan’s Health Ministry has so far only authorized the use of Pfizer’s vaccine, while Moderna’s is under study.

Japan had also signed an agreement with AstraZeneca for the supply of another 120 million doses, although the authorization process for this vaccine could be compromised by the few cases of thromboembolism as a side effect that led some countries to stop its application. EFE


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