Japan secures extra Pfizer vaccine doses for 25 mln people
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Japan has signed a contract with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to receive additional doses of its coronavirus vaccine for 25 million people by September, health minister Norihisa Tamura said Friday, Kyodo reports.
Combining the additional 50 million doses that the country will receive under the agreement with the 144 million doses under its previous contract with Pfizer, Japan will be able to inoculate 97 million people.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga agreed on additional doses in a phone call with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in April.
Suga said after the call that there would be sufficient doses by September for all people in Japan aged 16 and above.
Japan has also signed coronavirus vaccine contracts with U.S. biotechnology company Moderna Inc. and Britain's AstraZeneca Plc. But the double-dose vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE is currently the only COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Japan.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is expected to deliberate on the approval of the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines on May 20.