AstraZeneca files vaccine for approval in Japan

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Japan Published: Feb 05, 2021, 05:02 PM(IST)

AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine Photograph:( AFP )

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Japan has reached deals with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna to buy enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for its population of 126 million. But it is yet to approve any inoculations with less than six months before the Tokyo Olympics.

AstraZeneca has filed for approval of its coronavirus vaccine in Japan, and has become the second major pharmaceutical firm to ask Tokyo to authorise its jabs.

Japan has reached deals with Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna to buy enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for its population of 126 million. But it is yet to approve any inoculations with less than six months before the Tokyo Olympics.

The Pfizer jab will likely be the first to get the go-ahead later this month after the US firm filed for approval in December. Moderna is yet to formally file for approval. The Pfizer jab is likely to be approved in Japan on February 15, Kyodo News reported Thursday.

Olympic chiefs insist the Tokyo Games will begin in July, despite new waves of Covid infections in Japan and worldwide.

Participants will be encouraged to be vaccinated against Covid-19, organisers have said, but there will be no obligation.

Japan is yet to announce an official schedule for vaccinations, but after targeted jabs for healthcare workers, it is expected to begin inoculating the elderly from April.

AstraZeneca said it will file data of a clinical trial involving 256 patients in Japan in March. The UK drugmaker plans to produce 90 million shots in Japan, of the 120 million it has agreed to provide to the country.

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