Japan to utilize 13 bln USD in reserve funds for COVID-19 vaccines, medicines
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Japan's cabinet on Friday decided to utilize 1.4 trillion yen (13 billion U.S. dollars) in fiscal 2021 reserve funds, mainly for purchasing additional COVID-19 vaccines and securing medicines for patients, local media reported Friday, Xinhua reports.
The Japanese government allocated about 841.5 billion yen of the total amount to procure more vaccines and promote its vaccination rollout since Japan struggles to curb a recent surge in COVID-19 infections driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.
About 235.2 billion yen was earmarked for the «antibody cocktail» treatment, Finance Minister Taro Aso told a press conference. According to overseas clinical trials, the treatment decreases the risk of hospitalization or death for patients.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told a news conference two days ago that in response to «urgent tasks», the government will use the reserve funds for anti-COVID-19 measures such as securing enough vaccines and drugs for the antibody cocktail treatment.
Despite Japan is relatively slow in vaccination progress compared with other developed economies, the country aims to finish inoculating all eligible people in the nation who wish to receive shots sometime between October and November, Suga has said. (1 U.S. dollar equals 109.99 Japanese yen).