Japan Expects to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines in 2021

TOKYO – Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato has announced that Japan expects to receive supplies of potential COVID-19 vaccines next year.

Kato said Tuesday that the Japanese government has reached basic agreements with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC over two possible vaccines, while negotiations with U.S. biotech producer Moderna are underway.

He told a press conference that Pfizer Inc. has agreed to provide Japan with 120 million doses of a new coronavirus vaccine by the end of July 2021; AstraZeneca PLC with 120 million doses from the beginning of 2021, of which 30 million doses will be supplied by March 2021; and Moderna with 40 million doses from the first half of the next fiscal year through the domestic sales and distribution network of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

“We will proceed with negotiations to reach final agreements for securing enough vaccines to provide to all citizens of Japan by the first half of 2021,” Kato said.

As of Thursday, Japan has 73,268 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,412 deaths. - Florenda Corpuz