Japan Begins Producing AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

TOKYO – Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo announced Friday it has begun manufacturing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country, amid reports of blood clots in people receiving the jab in some European countries.

In accordance with an outsourcing agreement concluded in February, Daiichi Sankyo is using undiluted solutions provided by AstraZeneca to manufacture the product, including the vial filling and packaging of the vaccine, at its subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo Biotech Company, Limited, the pharmaceutical firm said in a statement.

“As a Japanese company that conducts the business of developing vaccines, Daiichi Sankyo is striving to help restore safety and security in society through the early eradication of COVID-19 by ensuring the stable supply of AstraZeneca in Japan,” it said.

AstraZeneca, which developed the vaccine with the University of Oxford, filed for the Japanese health ministry’s approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in early February.

It began conducting clinical trials in the country last August, targeting 256 participants.

The British pharmaceutical company is set to provide Japan with 120 million doses of the jab, sufficient for 60 million people.

Of the 120 million doses, 30 million will be manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca, University of Oxford)